Stool Microbes Predict Advanced Liver Disease

Proof-of-concept study suggests a noninvasive test for specific microbial population patterns could be used to detect advanced nonalcoholic fatty liver disease —

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) — a condition that can lead to liver cirrhosis and cancer — isn’t typically detected until it’s well advanced. Even then, diagnosis requires an invasive liver biopsy. To detect NAFLD earlier and more easily, researchers in the NAFLD Research Center at University of California San Diego School of Medicine, Human Longevity, Inc. and the J. Craig Venter Institute report that the unique microbial makeup of a patient’s stool sample — or gut microbiome — can be used to predict advanced NAFLD with 88 to 94 percent accuracy.

The proof-of-concept study, which involved 135 participants, is published May 2 in Cell Metabolism.Read the Full Story from the UC San Diego Health Newsroom

The first author of the study is Rohit Loomba, MD, professor of medicine in the Division of Gastroenterology, director of the NAFLD Research Center and a faculty member in the Center for Microbiome Innovation at UC San Diego.

UCSD Offering Early Test That Can Detect HIV One Week After Exposure

UCSD is now offering free, confidential testing that can detect HIV in the very early stages of infection.

The “Early Test” reveals an infection with HIV, the retrovirus that can lead to AIDS, as early as one week after exposure.

This is significantly earlier than standard HIV tests, which check for blood antibodies that may not be detectable for up to three months after an individual becomes infected.

HIV is highly infectious in the early stages, according to Dr. Susan Little, UCSD Associate Professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases.

Both for that reason and because treatment options differ depending on the stage of HIV infection, early detection is extremely important.

UCSD is collaborating with the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency to offer the Early Test at several San Diego sites.

For more information about the Early Test, please call 877-323-5050 or visit the UCSD Early Test website.

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