12 January - 20 June 2016

Beneficial bacteria - new hope for the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease

15 July 2015

In a report published in the recent PNAS journal, Ballal and colleagues from Boston discuss how certain strains of bacteria may treat colitis in a mouse model. Previous research already demonstrated that fermented milk products may attenuate the inflammation of the colon. 

Intestinal inflammation produces reactive oxygen species (ROS) as a form of an immune response to microbes, however the excessive ROS production may also lead to tissue damage. Beneficial bacteria (for example Lactococcus lactis), through the action of their specific genes, may produce an antioxidant enzyme (superoxide dismutase, SodA) that reduces ROS in the inflamed area. The authors of the recent study also found that certain host factors may facilitate the release of SodA from the beneficial bacteria. Specifically, the presence of peptidoglycan hydrolases in host small intestine catalyses the breakdown of the bacterial cell wall improving the antioxidant bioaccessibility. Peptidoglycan hydrolases (PGH) may also come from other bacteria present in the gut microbiota. Importantly, therefore, intact L lactis is not required since lysozyme action on L lactis at inflamed colonic sites can contribute to release of SodA. 

The authors suggest that targeted release of SodA need not be synthetically engineered and ‘Using bacteria as vehicles to deliver biologically active molecules is a promising approach for the treatment of many diseases’.

share this article
RSSL endeavours to check the veracity of news stories cited in this free e-mail bulletin by referring to the primary source, but cannot be held responsible for inaccuracies in the articles so published. RSSL provides links to other World Wide Web sites as a convenience to users, but cannot be held responsible for the content or availability of these sites. This document may be copied and distributed provided the source is cited as RSSL's Food e-News and the information so distributed is not used for profit.

Previous editions

Load more editions

Make an Enquiry