Researchers Target Specific Gut Bacteria to Control Inflammation in Mice Study of Colitis

Researchers Target Specific Gut Bacteria to Control Inflammation in Mice Study of Colitis
Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have discovered a way to target a specific population of bacteria that promotes gut inflammation in mice. While more studies are needed, they believe the discovery could lead to a new target for therapy development. Scientists refer to the strategy as the "precision editing" of the gut microbiome, which helped reduce inflammation in a mouse model of colitis without affecting other bacterial populations that are important for overall intestinal health. While the strategy is not yet safe for application in humans, it provides proof-of-principle to develop future bacteria-targeted therapeutics for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). "Our results provide a conceptual framework for precisely altering the bacterial species that line the gut in order to reduce the inflammation associated with the uncontrolled proliferation of bacteria seen in colitis and other forms of inflammatory bowel disease," Sebastian Winter, assistant professor of microbiology and the study's co-corresponding author, said in a press release. The study, “Precision editing of the gut microbiota ameliorates colitis,” was published in the journal Nature. The human gut microbiome — the vast collection of different microbes that reside in the gut — is essential for a healthy intestine and overall body functions. However, the quantity of each microbial community needs to be well-balanced. For example, members of the Enterobacteriaceae family of bacteria are usually present in small numbers in a healthy gu
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