By Dr. Mallika Marshall

BOSTON (CBS) — Could the bacteria that live in your nose and throat help protect you from the flu? Researchers at the University of Michigan say it’s possible.

Researchers collected samples of nose and throat bacteria from people who were living with someone sick with influenza. They found that people with a certain community of bacteria – in other words, a certain microbiome – were more susceptible to catching it. This suggests that the bacteria that live in people’s nasal passages or throat might affect their chances of infections and could perhaps affect how they respond to vaccines.


They say a lot more research is needed, but researchers would eventually like to figure how out someone’s microbiome might also influence the severity and duration of symptoms. Researchers also predict that a microbiome or probiotic pill could one day be prescribed to help prevent the flu in people who are more susceptible.

Dr. Mallika Marshall