Friday, 10 January 2014

The influence of microbiome on autoimmunity

 We live with millions of microorganisms, and this coexistence comes as a mixed blessing. Evolution drove bacteria to not only to survive in humans, but also to protect us by supporting various physiological, metabolic, and immune processes. On the other hand, research implicates bacteria in conditions detrimental to health, like allergies, obesity, multiple sclerosis, and recently rheumatoid arthritis.

Gut bacteria may cause rheumatoid arthritis by attacking the immune system. Using an animal model, scientists found that a bacterium, Prevotella copri, trains the immune system to produce Th17 cells, which in turn release molecules that cause inflammation and bone damage in arthritis. Significantly, Prevotella copri was present in 75% of patients' intestines, as determined by fecal sample testing.

For further details, see Science World

Posted by Tim Sandle