Infliximab Helps Gut Microbiome in Children with Crohn’s, Study Finds

Treatment with infliximab helps normalize the gut microbiome, soothing Crohn’s disease in children and adolescents, a study suggests. Longer studies are needed to understand if these medicines can fully restore the gut microbiome, the researchers noted, adding that stool exams may be a safer and more convenient alternative to endoscopy for monitoring treatment response in pediatric patients. The study, “Changes in the Intestinal Microbiota Are Seen Following Treatment with Infliximab in Children with Crohn’s Disease,” was published in the Journal of Clinical Medicine. The gut microbiome, also known as gut microbiota, refers to the diverse population of microbes (bacteria, fungi, and viruses) living in the intestine, which play important roles in both health and disease. Numerous studies have shown that inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) are associated with an imbalance of gut bacterial communities, a phenomenon known as gut microbial dysbiosis. In a dysbiotic gut, bacteria species normally dominant become underrepresented, while bacteria groups that are usually confined start growing. Such imbalances may actually be among possible mechanisms contributing to the development of IBD, which includes both ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn’s disease (CD). Biologics known as anti-TNF agents are currently considered the most effective medications to treat severe cases of IBD. These agents work by inhibiting inflammation and promoting tissue healing in the bowel. Infliximab (marketed as Inflectra, Remicade, and Remsima, among others) is one of these, and is widely used to treat children with Crohn’s disease. Previous studies have shown that biologics may help reduce IBD-related microbial dysbiosis as well. However, few studies have focused on inve
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