According to numerous studies, gut health significantly influences overall health. Gut microbiomes, in particular, play an essential part in modulating the impact of nutrition and other factors on health, including digestive, immunological, metabolic, and neuroendocrine functions. Assessing GI wellness with the appropriate tools can assist practitioners in determining the source of persistent illness, balancing the microbiome, and choosing the most effective therapies.
The GI-MAP (Microbial Assay Plus) is a one-of-a-kind stool analysis test. It uses only quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) technology to detect parasites, bacteria, fungus, and other microorganisms by targeting their individual DNA.
Every patient may benefit from a GI-MAP gut health check. Some patients are striving for optimal health, while others have been sick for years without receiving an explanation.
The following are some examples of conditions that might require testing:
The GI-MAP identifies bacteria, parasites, and viruses that are commonly regarded to cause gastric illness. It’s critical to note that not all people who have pathogens in their stool will experience symptoms. Many variables influence an individual’s complaints, including the patient’s health, the transitory nature of some microorganisms, and the presence and manifestation of other pathogens.
Chronic inflammation is a major contributing factor to many modern diseases. The GI-MAP can identify three different types of inflammatory markers in the stool:
1) Calprotectin – a marker for mucosal injury (e.g., from ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease)
2) Occult blood – a marker for erosions, ulcerations, or tumors
3) Fecal elastase – a pancreatic enzyme that is decreased in malabsorptive states
Toxins are a type of virulence factor produced by specific diseases. Because GI-MAP is based on DNA testing, it reflects the quantities of pathogenic bacteria that include toxin genes, not the amounts of any poisons that are may create.
According to a 2013 article published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, approximately half of the world’s population might have H. pylori infection. H. pylori is also known to contribute to stomach ulcers, chronic gastritis, and stomach cancer, although many carriers are asymptomatic.
Patients may also develop hypochlorhydria and then change to hyper aciduria during the initial phases of colonization. Additional H. pylori strains can colonize over time, including those with Virulence Factors and high disease potential.
The human intestine is home to trillions of microorganisms, which form a complex ecosystem that has a vital role in human health. Commensal bacteria extract nutrients and energy from our diets, maintain gut barrier function, make vitamins (biotin and vitamin K), and defend against potential pathogen colonization.
Bacteria in the GI-MAP are classified as opportunistic pathogens since they only cause illness and sickness in some people, particularly those with weakened immune systems. Many individuals come into contact with opportunistic germs daily without experiencing any symptoms. These bacteria are generally considered typical in the feces of most individuals. However, they can produce severe infections when they take advantage of a person’s poor health or other vulnerabilities.
Some opportunistic microbes are known to cause infections in specific organs, such as the bladder (cystitis), kidney (pyelonephritis), and skin (cellulitis). Other opportunistic infections can affect the entire body, such as sepsis.
When a poor diet weakens the commensal bacteria, antibiotic treatment, parasitic infection, or a damaged immune system, overgrowth, and excessive colonization by opportunistic germs may occur. These microbes might leave the gut lumen and infect other extraintestinal areas when intestinal permeability is present (zonulin).
Fungi are present in the human digestive system but can cause problems in susceptible persons. Fungal growth may be confined to one’s body. Candida spp., for example, might be prominent in the bowels but standard in the small intestine, and vice versa. Additional investigations may be required to get a complete picture of fungal overgrowth.
Fungi can be difficult to eradicate, and it may take several months of antifungal therapy to achieve remission. Candida albicans is the common fungal pathogen in humans, but other species, such as Candida glabrata and Candida tropicalis, are becoming more prevalent.
A parasite is an organism that lives on and exploits a host at the host’s expense. The most common parasites and protozoa (some of which are non-pathogenic) found in the GI tract are detected by the GI-MAP. Sources of infection should be identified and removed to avoid reinfection.
INTESTINAL HEALTH MARKERS
ANTIBIOTIC RESISTANCE GENES
The GI-MAP includes data on detecting antibiotic resistance genes in the microbiome. If an antibiotic resistance gene is discovered, that class of drugs is labeled POSITIVE for antibiotic resistance. A positive finding for a specific antibiotic’s resistant genes indicates that it isn’t an appropriate choice for an antibiotic regimen.
The stool sample’s antibacterial resistance genes affect all the microorganisms. Because bacteria may exchange DNA rapidly under stress, any organism containing antibiotic resistance is proof enough to avoid that class of medication.
Phenotypes | HELICOBACTER
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