Vaccine Against Bacterial Protein May Lessen Gut Inflammation, Mouse Study Indicates

Vaccine Against Bacterial Protein May Lessen Gut Inflammation, Mouse Study Indicates
Vaccinating against flagellin, a protein involved in the movement of certain bacteria, lessened inflammation in the gut, a study of mice shows. These findings suggest that vaccination against certain bacterial proteins may protect against inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and other conditions. “The administration of flagellin, and perhaps other bacterial antigens, has the potential to vaccinate against an array of diseases associated with, and driven by gut inflammation," Benoit Chassaing, PhD, senior author of the study, said in a press release. The study, “Flagellin-elicited adaptive immunity suppresses flagellated microbiota and vaccinates against chronic inflammatory diseases” was published in the journal Nature Communications. The human gut microbiome consists of trillions of microbes, primarily bacteria, that reside in our gut. Increasing evidence suggests that alterations to the gut microbiome composition can increase the risk for chronic inflammatory diseases, including IBD. Previous research has shown that the gut microbiome of people with IBD, including those with ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn’s disease, fluctuates more compared to the microbiomes of healthy individuals. One common change detected in the inflamed gut is an increased production of the protein flagellin, a whip-like appendage that allows bacteria to move and penetrate the intestinal wall. Flagellin also is a potent bacterial antigen (i.e., a protein capable of triggering an immune response). Researchers at the Institute for Biomedical Sciences and the Neuroscience Institute at Georgia State University investigated whether promoting the body’s production of antibodies against flagellin, a process called immunization and the same principle of a vaccine, could help
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