Good bacteria may help prevent pneumonia: study

A harmless bacterium found in the nose and on the skin might impede the growth of a pathogen that commonly caused middle ear infections and pneumonia in children and older adults, according to a new study.

The study offered evidence that Corynebacterium accolens (C. accolens) helped inhibit Streptococcus pneumoniae (S. pneumoniae) -- a major cause of pneumonia, meningitis, middle ear infection and sinusitis.

The results paved the way for potential future research to determine whether C accolens might play a role as a beneficial bacterium that could be used to control pathogen colonisation.

According to the World Health Organization, S/ pneumoniae led to over a million deaths each year, mostly of young children in developing countries.

Although most people that hosted S pneumoniae did not develop these infections, colonisation greatly increased the risk of infection and transmission.

The study conducted by Lindsey Bomar from Forsyth Institute in Massachusetts, US, and colleagues demonstrated that C accolens were over-represented in the noses of children that ere not colonised by S. pneumoniae, which was commonly found in children's noses and could cause infection.

The researchers further found that C accolens modified its local habitat in a manner that inhibited the growth of S pneumoniae by releasing anti-bacterial free fatty acids from representative host skin surface triacylglycerols.