GASTROENTEROLOGY NERD ALERT: Bacteria-eating virus to treat IBD?
Check out this fascinating article in MedPage Today about a potential new treatment option for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis that utilizes special viruses called bacteriophages. Bacteriophages are “the most abundant viral types on the planet. Incredibly diverse, these ancient germ-eaters are also the most common members of the gut virobiota and are virulent foes of bacteria. Now researchers think these lowly microorganisms may have a role to play in treating inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).”
“Found in soil, water, and human waste, bacteriophages have long been used in the food industry to reduce Listeria contamination on soft ripened cheeses such as Camembert and are being assessed for preventing food poisoning from salad bar items and others. More dramatically, in 2017, phages harvested from sewage and delivered intravenously saved the life of a moribund San Diego man infected with Acinetobacter baumannii that defied the mightiest antibiotics.”
“The emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, however, has renewed interest in phage-based antimicrobials. And since phages have evolved to kill a specific bacterium, their narrow scope of action could mean treatment that would not disturb the balance and diversity of the broader community of bacteria in the microbiome so essential to health.
All this has caught the attention of IBD researchers. While the precise role of phages in this context remains unknown, they are thought both to contribute to the development of IBD in some cases and to protect the guts of some IBD patients, even mediating the beneficial effects of fecal microbiota transplantation.”
As mentioned innumerable times before on our blog and social media posts, there is SO MUCH mind-blowing information to learn about the gut microbiome on our health, and especially the impact on inflammatory bowel disease. I eagerly anticipate learning all that science will have to offer on this topic in the decades to come.
Comprehensive Gastrointestinal Health was created exactly for the purpose of PROVIDING HOLISTIC CARE for patients with IBD. We combine:
- A community gastroenterologist with significant IBD experience and expertise who LISTENS to a patient’s concerns and preferences and is open minded regarding all facets of treatment options
- A registered dietitian to address the complex nutritional needs of IBD patients
- A behavioral coach/counselor to help with coping skills, stress management, and techniques like cognitive behavioral therapy and gut-directed hypnotherapy for the frequently superimposed functional or IBS component of symptoms
- A nurse practitioner who is easily accessible for prompt communication and rapid appointment availability (as well as three wonderful nurses to help out!)
Please call 224.407.4400 to schedule a consultation or visit compgihealth.com to learn more about what our team can offer you.
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