According to a study conducted at the Mayo Clinic in America, a human gut bacteria discovered by researchers may help treat autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS).
The Mayo research team worked with researchers from the University of lowa to test gut microbial samples from patients on a mouse model of MS. They tested three strains of bacteria, but one microbe, called Prevotella histicola, particularly stood out because its ability to effectively supress immune disease in the preclinical MS model.
Researchers discovered that Prevotella histicola, which is cultured from the human intestine, caused a decrease in two types of pro-inflammatory cells. It was also found to increase families of cells that fight disease, such as T-cells, dendritic cells and a type of macrophage.
Joseph Murray, M.D., a Mayo Clinic Gastroenterologist and Senior Author of the article, said: ‘If we can use the microbes already in the human body to treat human disease beyond the gut itself, we may be onto a new era of medicine. We are talking about bugs as drugs.’ Dr. Murray coined the term ‘brug’ to refer to this approach.
Although this discovery is in the very early stages and is not yet a proven treatment, researchers concluded that this type of gut bacteria may play a role in treating MS, but believe further study is needed.