Professor ZHAO Liping from Jiaotong University, an expert in intestinal community studies, has found that Enterobacter cloacae B29 made up 1/3 of the intestinal bacteria of a highly obese volunteer and could be reduced to undetectable levels after 23 weeks on a diet of whole grains, traditional Chinese medicinal foods and prebiotics. The weight of the patient dropped by 51 kg, and the patient recovered from hyperglycemia and hypertension. If isolated Enterobacter cloacae B29 were fed to germ-free mice, they developed obesity and insulin resistance on a high-fat diet but not on normal chow diet, whereas the germfree control mice on a high-fat diet did not exhibit the same disease phenotypes.

The ISME Journal advance online publication 13 December 2012; doi: 10.1038/ismej.2012.153