31 May 2021

Probiotics instead of fecal therapy

Microbiota transplantation reversed inflammation in the intestine

Svetlana Maslova, Hi-tech+

The treatment has potential against Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis and other inflammatory bowel diseases, which so far doctors are only able to restrain, drowning out the symptoms. In the near future, scientists intend to launch the first and second phases of clinical trials.

The transplantation of microbiota – intestinal bacteria from healthy donors – is widely studied and is already being used to treat certain diseases. Researchers from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill studied the effect of microbiota transplantation for the treatment of inflammatory bowel diseases and achieved impressive results.

Article by Daniel van der Lelie et al. Rationally designed bacterial consortium to treat chronic immune-mediated colitis and restore intestinal homeostasis is published in the journal Nature Communications – VM.

They developed two types of drugs, GUT-103 and GUT-108, consisting of different strains of bacteria. These combinations allow bacteria to remain in the large intestine for a long time and have the necessary therapeutic effect, unlike probiotics, which are quickly eliminated from the gastrointestinal tract.

The drug was administered orally to mice three times a week. The therapy prevented and reversed inflammation in the intestine, as well as increased the number of good bacteria and reduced the number of bad ones.

"The idea is to restore the normal function of protective bacteria in the intestine by acting on the source of inflammation," explained the author of the work Balfour Sartor in a press release of 'Good' Bacteria Show Promise for Clinical Treatment of Crohn’s Disease, Ulcerative Colitis.

Currently, Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis and other conditions accompanied by inflammation in the intestine are treated with immunosuppressants that work only against symptoms, and also cause serious side effects with prolonged use. The authors believe that microbiota transplantation will make the treatment much more effective and short-term.

The team plans to launch clinical trials of the first and second phases in the near future.

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