“Good” Bacteria Show Promise, in Mouse Model, for Clinical Treatment of Crohn’s Disease, Ulcerative Colitis

A new study published online on May 28, 2021 in Nature Communications demonstrates that a consortium of bacteria that live in the digestive tracts of healthy individuals and designed to complement missing or under-represented functions in the imbalanced microbiome of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) patients, was successful in preventing and treating chronic immune-mediated colitis in humanized mouse models. The open-access article is titled “Rationally Designed Bacterial Consortia to Treat Chronic Immune-Mediated Colitis and Restore Intestinal Homeostasis.” The study's senior author, Balfour Sartor, MD, Midget Distinguished Professor of Medicine, Microbiology, and Immunology, Co-Director of the University of North Carolina (UNC) Multidisciplinary IBD Center, said the results are encouraging for future use treating Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis patients. "The idea with this treatment is to restore the normal function of the protective bacteria in the gut, targeting the source of IBD, instead of treating its symptoms with traditional immunosuppressants that can cause side effects like infections or tumors," Dr. Sartor said.
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