Human gut microbe may lead to MS treatment

August 09, 2017
A new study suggests a human gut microbe discovered at Mayo Clinic may help treat multiple sclerosis.
Mayo Clinic and University of Iowa researchers tested gut microbial samples on a mouse model of MS. Of three bacterial strains, they discovered that one microbe, Prevotella histicola, effectively suppressed immune disease in the preclinical model of MS. They found that P. histicola, which is cultured from the human intestine, caused a decrease in two types of pro-inflammatory cells, while increasing families of cells that fight disease: T-cells, dendritic cells, and a type of macrophage.
According to the study’s author, recent MS microbiome studies have shown the lack of Prevotella genus in patients with the disease, and an increase when patients were treated with disease-modifying drugs.
Results of mouse model studies sometimes do not translate to humans and may be years away from being a marketable treatment. However, the team concludes that, in the future, this type of gut microbe may play a role in treating MS. While probiotics have been used for millennia, there are little data showing how a bacterium can provide benefit against a disease outside the gut.
The findings were published in the journal Cell Reports.

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