The adult human body is made up of about 37 trillion cells. Microbes, mainly bacteria, outnumber body cells by 10 to 1. This huge community of microbes, called the microbiome, affects the health, development and evolution of all multicellular organisms, including humans, according to the latest craze in health supplement marketing and plenty of science papers latching onto the fad.
Symbiotic microbes can help prevent infection by disease-causing pathogens but sometimes the interaction goes the other way, with a pathogen or disease disrupting the normal community of symbiotic bacteria. In a new paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a team of scientists from UC Santa Barbara say that a fungal pathogen of amphibians does just that.