Commensal Bacterium May Reduce Crohn’s Disease Outbreaks

A recent paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggests that the gut bacterium Faecalibacterium prausnitzii reduces the recurrence of ileal Crohn’s disease.

In the study, the authors determined that the percentage of total bacteria that were F. prausnitziii found in the ileal muscosa was roughly five percent in patients who did not have recurrence of symptoms six months after surgery versus roughly 0.1% in those patients who had symptoms six months later.
When F. prausnitzii was grown with cultured intestinal cells, it was found to have an anti-inflamatory effect. Giving a colitic mouse F. prausnitzii changed the mouse’s gut microbiota to a more ‘normal’, less ‘Crohn’s-like’ microbiota. (I’ve seen data from Crohn’s patients and ‘normal’ patients, and the difference between the two microbiota is striking).
While it’s not clear if the absence of F. prausnitzii causes Crohn’s, it does appear that adding it back to the gut microbiota could limit symptoms. It would also be nice to know how dietary changes could be used to support the growth of this organism.
Cited article: Sokol et al. 2008. Faecalibacterium prausnitzii is an anti-inflammatory commensal bacterium identified by gut microbiota analysis of Crohn disease patients. PNAS vol. 105: 16731-16736. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0804812105

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4 Responses to Commensal Bacterium May Reduce Crohn’s Disease Outbreaks

  1. Dan Prickett says:

    So where can we get a probiotic with F. prausnitzii?

  2. Rhea Miller says:

    Someone did this article for our journal club…I am excited to see more about how this research will continue…I think their work is far from done. Tho I would hate to have to dissect something as complex as our intestines. Whew, talk about a complex job.

  3. Dan,
    No idea. There’s a bit of a ways to go before we should use it, but some trials would be a good idea.

  4. wesele says:

    I would hate to have to dissect something as complex as our intestines…

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