Monday, 29 July 2013

Gut microbes used to treat immune diseases

An oral administration, consisting of a cocktail of bacteria derived from the human gut, seems to reduce colitis and allergy-invoked diarrhea in mice.
Do probiotics work? One scientific study seems to suggest that the administration of 'beneficial' bacteria can treat certain diseases. With the study, scientists have demonstrated that a blend of specially selected strains of Clostridium bacteria derived from humans can significantly reduce symptoms of certain immune disorders in mice.
Clostridia bacteria include the well-known tetanus and botulism toxins. For the study, the researchers used strains of Clostridium derived from a sample of human feces. The experiments involved taking germ-free mice, bred to have colitis and allergy-induced diarrhea. The mice were then treated with specially selected strains of human-derived Clostridia and the results appeared to be successful.
The reason for the success is because the bacteria appear to stimulate a type of immune cells called regulatory T cells. These cells produce important anti-inflammatory immune molecules.
Alexander Rudensky, an immunologist at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York and a cofounder, of Vedanta Biosciences, is quoted by the website the Scientist as saying: "It’s very valuable to see studies like this one, where detailed analysis of microbial compositions is linked to biology." The success of the animal studies may well lead to future trials conducted on people.
The results of the study have been published in Nature in a paper titled 'Treg induction by a rationally selected mixture of Clostridia strains from the human microbiota'.

Posted by Tim Sandle