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ISAPP Newsletter – July 2022

After the productive in-person annual meeting in June, ISAPP board members and collaborators are busy working on several new papers and other initiatives to advance the science of probiotics, prebiotics, synbiotics, postbiotics and fermented foods.

One of the most popular sessions at the annual meeting was the debate led by Prof. Colin Hill PhD, on the topic of whether all probiotic effects must be considered strain-specific. In the course of the debate, the panel raised the fundamental question “what is a strain?” A new blog post examines this question and why it’s so difficult to answer.

Prof. Dan Merenstein MD and Dr. Maria Carmen Collado PhD take a close look at the evidence used in a Cochrane review on probiotic safety in pregnancy, and provide their perspective on whether certain strains of probiotics may be contraindicated for pregnant women.

In another post, Prof. Hania Szajewska MD summarizes the research on how Cesarean sections (C-sections) affect the gut microbiota in early life and possibly affect health later on. She also covers the various proposed ways to ‘restore’ the gut microbiota of the infant after C-section birth.

Check out highlights from the 2022 ISAPP annual meeting. Both the general meeting report and the ISAPP Students and Fellows Association (SFA) meeting report are now available.

Sign up now for the next ISAPP webinar: Human milk oligosaccharides: Prebiotics in a class of their own? to be held on October 19, 2022.

Our featured resource this month is a new podcast episode with Prof. Sarah Lebeer PhD, which gives an overview of the five main mechanisms of action for probiotics.

What is a strain in microbiology and why does it matter?

Scientists often talk about strains of bacteria, but how is a strain defined? See this blog post for an explanation by Prof. Colin Hill PhD on the difficulty microbiologists face in determining whether two similar bacterial colonies are the same or different strains.

Can Probiotics Cause Harm? The example of pregnancy

Although a limited number of trials done on probiotics in pregnancy carefully track adverse events, a recent Cochrane review warned against an increased risk of pre-eclampsia when probiotics are taken in pregnancy. In this post, Prof. Dan Merenstein MD and Dr. Maria Carmen Collado PhD look at the evidence and respond to the Cochrane conclusion.

A pediatrician’s perspective on C-section births and the gut microbiome

Pediatricians are often asked about the consequences of C-section delivery for a child later in life and whether potential C-section-related harms may be reduced. See this post for an overview of how the infant gut microbiota might contribute to C-section-related health issues later in life, and potential interventions to ‘restore’ the gut microbiota after Cesarean delivery.

ISAPP 2022 Annual Meeting Reports Now Available

Curious about the key messages and scientific advances presented at the the 2022 ISAPP annual meeting? Both the general meeting report and the ISAPP Students and Fellows Association (SFA) meeting report are now available. The SFA would like to congratulate the winners of the ‘best poster’ prizes at the ISAPP annual meeting: Glory Bui (University of California Davis, USA) and Simone Renwick (University of Guelph, Canada).

Human milk oligosaccharides as prebiotics to be discussed in upcoming ISAPP webinar

ISAPP’s next webinar will be held on October 19th, 2022 – Human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs): Prebiotics in a class of their own? The webinar will feature guest speaker Ardythe Morrow PhD, Professor of Pediatrics, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, covering HMO health benefits for infants and the technological innovations that are enabling the inclusion of HMOs in new infant formulas.
Episode 6: Mechanisms of action for probiotics

Science, Microbes & Health Podcast: Mechanisms of action for probiotics

Probiotic mechanisms of action are often multi-factorial and difficult to unravel scientifically. In this podcast episode, ISAPP hosts talk with Prof. Sarah Lebeer PhD to bring clarity around the five main mechanisms by which probiotics confer health benefits on a host.
ISAPP is the International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics.
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