A clandestine migration is underway, imperceptible, but tumultuous and unstoppable. It crosses frontiers, moves from people or atmospheric events. Unloading on Europe – and on Italy which is its advance guard – millions of microbes, funghi, bacteria coming from Africa. But they don’t seemed destined to destroy us. On the contrary, they may help us combat one of our worst – and neglected – afflictions: the loss of biodiversity, in the environment but especially in our body.
We are being impoverished. Ever fewer bacteria, ever fewer varieties. In Florence, a team of researchers has for years been studying the microorganisms in our body, based on big data from DNA sequences. “The food industry and its processes, sanitisation, the mass use of antibiotics in farming has contributed to weakening many harmful agents, but it has ended up eradicating essential ones,” reveals Duccio Cavalieri, professor in the department of Biology at the University of Florence. “Probiotics are an example. We buy them to reintroduce into our body elements that were once present naturally.”
Having eliminated funghi, bacteria, microbes is contributing to the explosion of auto-immune diseases, inflammations, allergies.
…We have become fragile. Less rich. A richness that Africa, from which multitudes are trying to flee, abounds. The great migration, among its many effects, may conceal one that is little researched: millions of bacteria are invading Italy. In African populations there lurks a great quantity (and variety) of micro organisms that our world has lost.