双语阅读:健康的体内微生物群落可以增强身体免疫力,有助于击败新冠病毒感染

健康的微生物群落可以让身体的免疫系统强大,有助于击败新冠病毒的感染

翻译:涂博士

您可能不知道,在你的身体内生活着很多的微生物,这些微生物对于身体抵御各种威胁(包括导致新冠肺炎的病毒)至关重要。

在过去的二十年中,科学家们了解到在我们身体里面存在的各种细菌细胞比我们人类自己的细胞还要多。这些生活在我们体内和表皮上的细菌群落被称为微生物组,它们就像一家公司一样有序地运行着,每种微生物都从事自己特定的工作,但所有微生物的工作合在一起就保持了我们身体的健康。在肠道中的众多细菌起到了平衡身体对病原体的免疫反应,这些细菌确保我们身体的免疫反应在有效压制病原体的同时不会反应过度而给我们的身体带来附加的伤害。

我们肠道中的细菌不仅可以触发针对感染肠道的病毒(例如诺如病毒和轮状病毒)的有效免疫反应,还可以引发针对感染肺部的病毒(如流感病毒)的有效免疫反应。有益的肠道微生物通过让特定免疫细胞产生有效的抗病毒蛋白来最终消除病毒的感染,如果一个人身体里面缺乏这些有益的肠道细菌,那么他(她)的身体对入侵病毒的免疫反应就不会那么强,这样的结果就是身体可能会无法有效地控制住病毒的感染,从而导致健康受损。

我们的免疫防御系统是身体针对有害病原体(如病毒或细菌)的复杂生物反应的一部分。但是,由于我们的身体上居住着数以万亿计的有益细菌,病毒和真菌,要区分出哪些是有害微生物和哪些是有益微生物,我们身体必须对在什么时候激活免疫反应有着严密的把控。

作为重要的伙伴,我们身体里的细菌一直在辛勤地工作,帮助我们增强免疫系统的防御能力以抵抗各种感染。有一项具有开创性的研究发现,在用抗生素消除小鼠肠道细菌后,小鼠的免疫反应出现了受损的迹象,这些动物的抗病毒白细胞数量降低,抗体反应变弱,产生某种对于抵抗病毒感染和调节免疫反应至关重要的蛋白质的能力也变差了。

在一篇尚未进行同行评审的论文中,我们证明了与患者通常使用的临床特征相比,肠道微生物群落的构成是预测患者新冠肺炎严重程度的最强指标。具体来说,我们确定粪便中存在的一种叫做“粪肠球菌”的细菌是预测新冠肺炎严重程度的可靠预测指标。这一点都不奇怪,一直以来人们都知道粪肠球菌与慢性炎症有着关联。

在开始阅读英文原文之前,请先复习下列核心词汇​:

healthy - adj. 健康的
strong - adj. 强壮的,强烈的
immune - adj. 免疫的
immune system - 免疫系统
microbe - n. 微生物
virus - n. 病毒
bacterial - adj. 细菌的
gut - n. 消化道,肠道,内脏
balance - n. 平衡
pathogen - n. 病原体
collateral - adj. 附属的,附带的
collateral damage - 附带损伤
host - n. 宿主,主人,东道主
infect - v. 感染
lung - n. 肺
flu - n. 流感
viral - adj. 病毒的
infection - n. 感染
viral infection - 病毒感染
beneficial - adj. 有益的
fungus - n. 真菌,霉菌
fungi - fungus的复数
activation - n. 启发,触发
diligently - adv. 勤勉地,勤奋地
seminal - adj. 影响深远的
impair - v.  损害,削弱
vital - adj. 对…极重要的
combat - v. 防止,减轻,战斗
modulate - v. 调节,调整
composition - n. 成分,构成
microbiome - n, 微生物组,微生物群系
predictor - n. 预测器,预示物
bacterium - n. 细菌;bacteria的单数
stool - n. 凳子,大便,粪便
chronical - adj. 长期延续的,慢性的
inflammation - n. 发炎,炎症

在复习了以上词汇后,请将下面的英文原文一口气读完,不要在中途停下来去查那些不认识的单词。有了上面的核心单词打底,你完全可以将整篇文章读完并且理解里面的大致意思。记住,你只要做到大致明白就可以了。

阅读能力和阅读量成正比,要提高阅读量,必须是大量的泛读,如果要对每个不懂的单词都去查字典,那么就不可能通过大量的泛读来提高你的阅读量。

这篇英语原文是《涂博士原版听读写辅导课》直播班上用来训练学员快速阅读的文章之一。能够快速阅读各个领域的原版文章并找出文中的核心内容,是真正学好英语的最最基础的技能之一,另一个最最基础的技能就是听得懂原版的广播。有了这两个最最基础的技能打底,学员就可以利用好网上大量的原版英语文章和听力资源,不出国就可以把自己沉浸在英语的环境当中。在建立起强大的语感之后,口语和写作能力都会自然成长起来。

如果你对某篇泛读文章特别喜欢,可以在泛读一遍以后再慢慢地精读。如果在精读的过程中对某些句子不是太明白需要讲解,或者你希望以后多看到哪方面的双语阅读,欢迎直接联系涂博士。

A healthy microbiome builds a strong immune system that could help defeat COVID-19

Ana Maldonado-Contreras
Assistant Professor of Microbiology and Physiological Systems
University of Massachusetts Medical School

You may not know it, but you have an army of microbes living inside of you that are essential for fighting off threats, including the virus that causes COVID-19.

In the past two decades scientists have learned our bodies are home to more bacterial cells than human ones. This community of bacteria that lives in and on us – called the microbiome – resembles a company, with each microbe species performing specialized jobs but all working to keep us healthy. In the gut, the bacteria balance the immune response against pathogens. These bacteria ensure the immune response is effective but not so violent that it causes collateral damage to the host.

Bacteria in our guts can elicit an effective immune response against viruses that not only infect the gut, such as norovirus and rotavirus, but also those infecting the lungs, such as the flu virus. The beneficial gut microbes do this by ordering specialized immune cells to produce potent antiviral proteins that ultimately eliminate viral infections. And the body of a person lacking these beneficial gut bacteria won't have as strong an immune response to invading viruses. As a result, infections might go unchecked, taking a toll on health.

Our immune defense is part of a complex biological response against harmful pathogens, such as viruses or bacteria. However, because our bodies are inhabited by trillions of mostly beneficial bacteria, virus and fungi, activation of our immune response is tightly regulated to distinguish between harmful and helpful microbes.

Our bacteria are spectacular companions diligently helping prime our immune system defenses to combat infections. A seminal study found that mice treated with antibiotics that eliminate bacteria in the gut exhibited an impaired immune response. These animals had low counts of virus-fighting white blood cells, weak antibody responses and poor production of a protein that is vital for combating viral infection and modulating the immune response.

We demonstrated, in a paper which has not yet been peer reviewed, that the composition of the gut microbiome is the strongest predictor of COVID-19 severity compared to patient's clinical characteristics commonly used to do so. Specifically, we identified that the presence of a bacterium in the stool – called Enterococcus faecalis– was a robust predictor of COVID-19 severity. Not surprisingly, Enterococcus faecalis has been associated with chronic inflammation.

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