Safe steps for using probiotics to revive biodiversity

31 July, 2022

“Anthropogenic impacts have been causing the rapid decline of key ecosystems that are central to supporting our livelihoods,” warns KAUST marine scientist Raquel Peixoto.

“Restoring beneficial bacteria provides an emerging tool to improve wildlife health and resilience,” she says. “If successful, this option could reboot healthy microbiomes and protect key and sensitive symbiotic relationships between hosts and their associated microbes.”

Although the application of “probiotics” has proven beneficial for treating some human, crop and aquaculture diseases, their wider use within ecosystems and wildlife has not been extensively explored. Regulations vary worldwide on how to assess probiotic safety and conversations are needed around the ethics of their more widespread use.

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Image: The planet's ecosystems are under severe threat, prompting marine scientists to take action and devise ways of preventing loss of biodiversity.
© 2022 KAUST; Morgan Bennett Smith.