A new study maps the microbiota of wild animals

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Wild Biotech, a preclinical drug discovery and development company emerging from an invisible mode of operation, today announces the publication of its first major paper, which appears in a journal Science. The study mapped the intestinal microbiota of animals in the wild at an unprecedented level, adding millions of potentially new therapeutic drugs for human microbiome-based diseases to the company’s already large database. Wild will use these findings to first tap his database for targets in inflammatory, immune and gastrointestinal diseases.

“For the study, we collected the gut microbiota of nearly 200 species of animals in the wild, covering different classes, feeding behaviors, geographic traits and traits,” said Neta Raab, co-founder and CEO of Wild Biotech. “Using a de novo metagenome assembly, we created and functionally labeled a database of over 5,000 microbial genomes of these animals covering more than 1,200 bacterial species – 75% of which were previously unknown.”

Animals in the wild show remarkable feats of survival. Some, from hyenas and jackals to Tasmanian devils, survive from putrefaction, pathogens, and toxic food, while remaining immune to disease — possibly in part because of their gut microbiota. Although the understanding of diversity and function within these ecosystems is poor, the microbial composition, diversity, and functional content of the animal microbiota are known to be related to animal taxonomy, nutrition, activity, social structure, and lifespan. “These are clues that we could use to discover completely new agents for treating human diseases,” Raab said.

Findings published in Science add 30 million genes – each representing a potentially new therapeutic agent – to Wild’s unique database of animal microbiota, which now contains hundreds of animal species and 100 million genes. “Most of that genomic material is new, and our database introduces thousands of previously undescribed species into the bacterial tree of life,” Raab said.

Wild applies state-of-the-art AI tools to decipher the therapeutic potential of its database and identify proteins, peptides, bacteriophages, and other agents with direct activity to targets in human disease. The company’s database is unique because, unlike microbes found in the ocean or soil, the intestinal microbiota of animals is the most relevant and directly translatable to human therapy.

The Wild Atetech database and AI tools are complemented by high-throughput synthetic biology to validate microbiome-derived agents and accelerate them into preclinical trials, and the high quality of data extracted from microbial genomes allows the company to directly synthesize and test agents. For example, in Science He studied that the team synthesized a plate of previously undescribed enzymes from the carnivore microbiota and showed that they act on a number of microbial toxins, suggesting a mechanism that detoxifies carrion for safe consumption by the host.

The company has also identified in its database over 2,000 CRISPR / Cas genome editing systems, of which approximately one third do not belong to any known CRISPR / Cas family.

“Incurable diseases require new thinking about intervention. Wild has created a revolutionary approach and tools to research its new datasets, unlike any other company,” said Dr. John Baldoni, a leading expert in the pharmaceutical industry and a consultant to Wild. “You need to have data to be able to do computational work. Because of their highly developed and relevant library, they can quickly, within days, view millions of interactions, and evaluate and target logical therapeutic areas. Wild’s approach allows translatability workflow from data on microbiomes to molecular mechanisms associated with complex diseases. “

“We are balancing innovation and clinical evidence to test millions of interactions with specific human disease-related targets,” Raab said. “We are very excited about the extraordinary potential hidden in this database to identify entirely new approaches to treating the disease.”


Domestication and industrialization lead to similar changes in the gut microbiota


More information:
D. Levin el al., “Diversity and functional landscapes in the microbiota of wild animals,” Science (2021). science.sciencemag.org/cgi/doi… 1126 / science.abb5352

Provides Wild Biotech

Citation: New study mapping wildlife microbiota (2021, March 25) retrieved March 25, 2021 from https://phys.org/news/2021-03-wildlife-microbiota.html

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