Certain intestinal bacteria may increase the risk of developing irritable bowel disease (IBD) among those with a family history of the illness, according to findings published in the journal Cell.
During a recent study, a team of researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health used an animal model to determine which microbes, or damaging bacteria, can lead to IBD.
The investigators found that two types caused the mice to be more susceptible to chronic intestinal inflammation. Also, the results showed that the bacteria can cause the immune system and the intestinal tract to become unbalanced, resulting in the development of IBD.
Wendy Garrett, lead author of the study, stated that her team used “metagenomic and conventional culture techniques that an individual’s genetic background influences what bacteria reside within his or her intestine.” She added that several studies are currently “examining the intestinal microbial communities of patients with IBD, and exploring the role of [this bacteria] we have identified in patients with IBD.”
In 2002, approximately 169,000 people in the United States were hospitalized for IBD, and of these individuals, 62 percent were diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, according to the National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse (NDDIC).