Crohn’s Disease Study: Gut Bacteria + Fungi involved

Photo Credit: Nephron via Wikimedia Commons

A recent study performed at Case Western Reserve University in Ohio has published results suggesting that bacterial and fungal interactions in the gut might predicate development of this disease.

Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory bowel disease that has been found to have some distinct biomarkers including increased populations of potentially pathogenic bacteria in the gut concurrent with decreased incidence of potentially beneficial bacteria.

The study in question supports this same result but additionally noted important characteristics in the fungal community of the gut in Crohn’s patients.  Saccharomyces cerevisiae, a non-pathogenic fungus generally decreased in the Crohn’s patients. Increased levels of the fungus Candida tropicalis and antibodies against Saccharomyces cerevisiae also corresponded to patients with the disease.  These antibodies are a known biomarker for Crohn’s.

Finally, an in vitro biofilm component to the study found distinct interactions between several bacterial species and Candida tropicalis.  These types of biofilm are resistant to antibiotics and protect the organisms within from immune cells.  The authors suggest that metabolic products of these microbes may lead to cell death and lesion formation in the patient and may be a key role in Crohn’s disease.


Source: Gut Microbiota Research and Practice


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