Crohn’s Disease Treatments Alter Microbial Makeup

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Crohn’s Disease Treatments Alter Microbial Makeup

Anti-inflammatory medications used for children’s Crohn’s disease can change the components of their gut microbiome, yet may not fully restore the microbial balance.

Anti-inflammatory treatment for children’s Crohn’s disease alters the components of their gut microbiome but does not fully restore the microbial balance.

According to findings published in Cell Host and Microbiome, researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania analyzed the fecal samples of 90 children with Crohn’s disease and 26 healthy children to determine the effect of Crohn’s disease treatment on their gut microbiome.

The researchers studied the patients’ enteral nutrition or anti TNFa antibodies to find the full complement and dynamics of bacteria, fungi, archaea, and viruses during treatment.

Over the eight-week treatment period, the researchers determined each Crohn’s disease treatment had a different effect on the gut microbial community. They discovered that antibiotics suppressed bacterial growth but seemed to facilitate the growth of fungi. Formula diets decreased Crohn’s disease symptoms and reduced inflammation; however, the diet did not correct the unbalanced bacterial population in the microbiome. Immunosuppressant therapy caused inflammation and bacterial dysbiosis to decrease, but fungal dysbiosis continued.

“The formula based diet helped the children to improve their symptoms and inflammation despite making the microbiota initially more dysbiotic,” co senior author Gary Wu, MD, a professor of Gastroenterology, explained in a press release. “This is an intriguing finding implying that it may not be necessary to completely restore a healthy microbiome to provide a beneficial effect.”


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