One lifetime ago, the only barrier that stood between humankind and the various tiny parasites that would prey upon us was good sanitation and hygiene. Today, the importance of hygienic practices to human health has not changed, but through our increased understanding of how infectious diseases occur, we have largely isolated ourselves from the health effects of such infections. Sure, we will become temporarily ill from time to time, but most people in the first world do not struggle with chronic communicable illness.
While we should consider our ability to isolate ourselves from the various causes of contagious disease as a significant advancement in human health, there are some negatives that arise from what we have achieved. The human body can, in no way, be completely isolated from the world of microbes as some of them help our bodies to operate properly. Our considerable efforts to eliminate them from our lives may have created an overly sterile existence that is contributing to several forms of illness.
Having recognized this, health practitioners and medical researchers are increasingly looking at ways to introduce different microbes in a controlled manner as a way of treating numerous illnesses.
What Conditions Are Being Treated Using Introduced Microbes?
Although the concept of intentionally “infecting” someone to improve health has actually been around for many years, it wasn’t until recently that the approach became more widely discussed and investigated. Not surprisingly, the idea of infecting a patient has caused some controversy and in some locations, regulations are making adoption of these techniques somewhat difficult. However, treatments and experiments using these approaches are showing valid benefits regardless of what some people might think.