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Source: Thailand Medical News  Dec 09, 2019  4 years, 4 months, 1 week, 2 days, 6 hours, 29 minutes ago

‘Probiotic Drops’ For Future Treatments Of Eye Diseases? ….An Intro To The Eye Microbiome

‘Probiotic Drops’ For Future Treatments Of Eye Diseases? ….An Intro To The Eye Microbiome
Source: Thailand Medical News  Dec 09, 2019  4 years, 4 months, 1 week, 2 days, 6 hours, 29 minutes ago
Many of you may be familiar with the newly found fact that your gut and skin are home to a collection of microbes ranging from fungi, bacteria and viruses, that are vital for keeping you healthy. But how many of you are aware that your eyes are also host a unique menagerie of microbes? Collectively, they are called  the eye microbiome. It has been discovered that when these microbes are out of balance, ie either too much or too few of certain types, a variety of eye diseases may emerge. Ophthalmologists and medical researchers these days are intrigued by the eye microbiome. In this specially curated article, Thailand Medical News gives you a basic introduction to the eye microbiome.


 
A past study1 showed bacteria live on the surface of the eye and stimulating protective immunity. Medical researchers are now beginning to discover the microbial factors that can be exploited to create innovative therapies for a range of eye disorders like Dry Eye Disease, Sjogren's Syndrome and corneal scarring. Soon it may be possible to engineer bacteria to treat eye diseases in humans.
 
Eye Microbiome
 
Often, when discussing the microbiome, most medical professionals usually think of the gut, and deservedly so; researchers think one colon can harbor more than 10 trillion bacteria. That being said, more attention is now being focused on the impact microbiomes have at other sites, including the skin, and areas with very few bacteria, like the lungs, vagina and eyes.
 
In the last few years, the role of the eye microbiome in ocular health was controversial2. Scientists believed that healthy eyes lacked an organized microbiome. Studies showed that bacteria from the air, hands or eyelid margins could be present on the eye; however, many believed these microbes were simply killed or washed away by the continual flow of tears.
 
However, due to recent studies, medical researchers have concluded that the eye does, indeed, harbor a "core" microbiome that appears dependent on age, geographic region, ethnicity, contact lens wear3 and state of disease. The "core" is limited to four genera of bacteria StaphylococciDiphtheroidsPropionibacteria, and Streptococci. In addition to these bacteria4, torque teno virus, implicated in some intraocular diseases, also counts as a member of the core microbiome as it is present on the surface of the eye of 65% of healthy individuals.
 
The findings suggests that ophthalmologists and doctors should think more deeply about the risks and benefits to the eye microbiome when prescribing antibiotics. The antibiotics may kill bacteria that are providing a benefit to the eye. The same goes for eye steroids.
 
In a new study spanning more than a decade and including mor