Trillions of microbes are present in the gut. The majority are bacteria. However, other types — including viruses and single cell eukaryotes (SCE) — exist. Few studies have examined SCEs, as many believe they are innocuous.
However, new research led by the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine (NUS Medicine) in Singapore has found that one common SCE — Blastocystis — could be destroying “good” forms of bacteria.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Blastocystis is transmittable via consuming contaminated food or water or having exposure to infected animals.
Some people believe it may be responsible for an intestinal infection, but it is possible to stay healthy even with the microbe’s presence.
One subtype of Blastocystis called ST7 seems to be distinct from the rest. Instead of remaining harmless, it endangers other bacteria.