Gainesville, FL—New research shows that disease-causing bacteria compete with their human hosts for a key micronutrient: queuine, called a “longevity vitamin” by Dr. Bruce Ames in a 2018 study. The report notes that queuine's importance is becoming clearer as more research is done on the micronutrient.

This latest research is from Valérie de Crécy-Lagard, a professor in the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences department of microbiology and cell science. Published inPNAS, it details the discovery that while most bacteria make their own queuine, some that live in the human environment compete with humans for it. This group of bacteria includes the sexually transmitted diseaseChlamydia trachomatisand the intestinal issue-causingClostridiodes difficile.
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“We don’t really know yet how queuine is important in these pathogens, but it must be important because the queuine salvage enzymes are there, too,” said de Crécy-Lagard. “Scientists didn’t previously think that bacteria would compete with a human host for this micronutrient. We’re now at a stage where we’re asking new questions that don’t have answers yet, but it’s putting queuine on the radar.”

The next step: looking at all bacteria in the microbiota and modeling the interaction between gut bacteria and the host.
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