Composition of gut flora may impact susceptibility to konzo, a neurological disease caused by cassava, a global staple crop

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From left to right: Dr Nicole Mashkano and Dr Matthew Bramble. Dr Mashkano is leading an effort to teach individuals in various health zones how to get wet in Kahemba. The wetting method is used as an additional step to further detoxify the toxins from the cassava flour before consumption. Here, Dr Mashkano and Dr Bramble spread a wet mixture of cassava powder and water on a thin layer of tarp, dried it in the sun, then decompose and release hydrogen cyanide as a gas of hydrogen cyanide. Credit: Brambel et al. National Children’s Hospital, Nature Communication (2021).

According to a study of 180 children, the genetic differences between the gut microbiota and conzo-prone areas in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) are cyanide after consuming contracted cassava. May affect the output of. Cassava is a food secure crop for over 500 million people in developing countries. Children living in high risk areas of Konzo have high levels of glucosidase (linamarase) and low Rhodanesi microorganisms in their intestines. This can mean that they are more susceptible to disease and less protected. Nature Communication..

Konzo is a serious and irreversible neurological disorder that causes paralysis. This occurs after consuming contracted cassava, the root and the essential cassava crop for the Democratic Republic of Congo and other low-income countries. Insufficiently processed cassava contains linamarin cyanide. Enzymes with glucosidase activity convert starch into monosaccharides, but they also break down linamarin and release cyanide in the body.

“Knowing who is most at risk can lead to targeted interventions to better treat cassava and try to diversify our diets,” Children’s National said. Dr Eric Vilain, MD, director of the Center for Medical Genetics, said. “Another intervention is to modify the microbiome to increase the level of protection, but it is a daunting task that can have unintended consequences and other side effects.”

The exact biological mechanisms underlying the susceptibility and severity of conzo disease have not been fully understood. This is the first study to shed light on the gut microbiota Percentage of the population that depends on poisonous cassava as their main food source.

From left to right: Vincent Kambale and Dr Matthew Bramble. Here, liquid nitrogen is replenished in the tank containing the samples on the way from Kahemba to Kinshasa. Credit: Brambel et al. Nature Communications (2021), a national children’s hospital.

“Gut, since environment and malnutrition play a role, the gut microbiota is not the only cause of disease, but it is an essential regulator,” said Dr. Matthew S. Bramble, researcher at Children’s National. Declared. “Simply put, without the gut microbes, linamarin and other cyanide glycosides would pose little or no risk to humans.”

Harmful survival Gut microbiota And for their association with this debilitating multifactorial neurological disorder, the researchers used the shotgun metagenome sequence to compare the gut microflora profile of 180 children with CRD. This approach assesses bacterial diversity and detects the abundance of microbial and microbial genes in a variety of environments.

The composition and function of the gut microbiota may affect sensitivity to konzo, a neurological disorder caused by cassava, a staple food crop in the world.

Neerja Vashist is learning to breathe. Fufu is a traditional food made from cassava flour, and the cassava flour used here is moistened to further remove toxins from the cassava flour before consumption. .. Credit: Brambel et al. Nature Communications (2021), a national children’s hospital.

Samples were collected in Kinshasa. Urban area Varied meals and no konzo. Rural areas where the diet of majimanamba and cassava is predominant and the prevalence of konzo is low. And Kahemba is a region where the cassava diet is predominant and the prevalence of konzo is high.

“This study overcame many challenges in conducting the study. Low-resource environments Desire Tshala-Katumbay, MD, MPH, Ph.D., FANA, co-chief author and professional scientist at the National Institute of Biomedical in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and professor of neurology in Oregon Health & Science University. States as follows. It will open up new avenues to prevent the Congo, a devastating disease for many children in sub-Saharan Africa. “

The composition and function of the gut microbiota may affect sensitivity to konzo, a neurological disorder caused by cassava, a staple food crop in the world.

From left to right: Dr Matthew Bramble, Vincent Kambale, Neerja Vashist. Here, the team processes samples in fields collected from the study cohort before storing them in liquid nitrogen. Credit: Brambel et al. Nature Communications (2021), a national children’s hospital.

For the next step, researchers are studying sibling pairs from conzos-prone areas of Kahemba, where only one sibling is affected.

“Studying siblings helps control factors that cannot be controlled otherwise. Cassava Dr. Neerja Vashist, PhD student and research intern at Children’s National, said: Over 40 million reads per sample and the size of the entire study cohort. This study design It can be confirmed that the trends we have observed are on a larger scale while improving the ability to comprehensively characterize the gut microbiota. ”


Scientists further support cassava research to help meet greater demand for food


For more information:
Konzo’s intestinal flora, Nature Communication (2021). doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-25694-1

Provided by
National Children’s Hospital

Quote: The composition of the intestinal flora is taken from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-09-gut-flora-composition- September 10, 2021, the staple food of cassava (2021, September). 10 days) may affect susceptibility to conzo, a neurological disorder caused by Impact-susceptibility.html

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