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Antibiotic targeting gut bacteria may treat autoimmune disease

IANS  |  New York 

Targeting certain gut bacteria with an antibiotic or may offer a promising new treatment approach for autoimmune diseases, new research suggests.

The findings, published in the journal Science, showed that bacteria found in the small intestines of mice and humans can travel to other organs and trigger an autoimmune response.

"Treatment with an antibiotic and other approaches such as are promising ways to improve the lives of patients with autoimmune disease," said from in New Haven, Connecticut, US.

Gut bacteria have been linked to a range of diseases, including autoimmune conditions characterised by immune system attack of healthy tissue.

light on this link, the research team focused on Enterococcus gallinarum, a bacterium they discovered is able to spontaneously "translocate" outside of the gut to lymph nodes, the liver, and spleen.

In models of genetically susceptible mice, the researchers observed that in tissues outside the gut, E. gallinarum initiated the production of auto-and -- hallmarks of the autoimmune response.

They confirmed the same mechanism of in cultured liver cells of healthy people, and the presence of this bacterium in livers of patients with

Through further experiments, the research team found that they could suppress in mice with an antibiotic or a aimed at E. gallinarum.

With either approach, the researchers were able to suppress growth of the bacterium in the tissues and blunt its effects on the immune system.

"When we blocked the pathway leading to inflammation, we could reverse the effect of this bug on autoimmunity," Kriegel said.

"The against E. gallinarum was a specific approach, as against other bacteria we investigated did not prevent mortality and autoimmunity," he noted.

The was delivered through injection in muscle to avoid targeting other bacteria that reside in the gut.

The findings have relevance for and autoimmune liver disease, the researchers said.



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, March 09 2018. 12:10 IST