JAN 10, 2022 10:25 AM PST

A Specific Microbe is Associated with Worsening Lupus

WRITTEN BY: Carmen Leitch

We are closely connected to the microbes in our gastrointestinal tract. They have a significant influence on various aspects of our health, including the immune system. Research has also associated imbalances in the gut microbiome, or specific gut microbes, to a wide variety of illnesses. Scientists have now linked lupus to a specific bacterium known as segmented filamentous bacteria (SFB). In a mouse model, SFB had negative effects on a mouse model of lupus nephritis. The findings have been published in Scientific Reports.

Image credit: Pixabay

It's estimated that about five million people worldwide have lupus. The incidence of lupus can vary widely by country, with the highest rates in North America, and the lowest rates in Africa, Northern Australia, and Ukraine. Women are affected at higher rates then men, and the rate appears to be rising over time.

Any given patient may have several different symptoms of lupus, which could include a facial rash, loss of appetite, fatigue, fever, or joint pain. Lupus is an autoimmune disorder in which the internal organs are attacked by the immune system. Genetics, hormones, and environmental conditions are thought to play a role. Mounting evidence is indicating that the microbiome also influences the condition.

"This [latest study] is a major finding, because it provides a basis for future studies that will examine the effects of interventions that target the gut microbiota in the management of lupus," said lead study author Dr. Wael Jarjour of The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and College of Medicine.

In this work, the researchers used a mouse model of lupus nephritis, in which the kidneys are damaged by excessive levels of cytokines, similar to what's been observed in some lupus patients. When the mice were exposed to SFB, their kidney lesions got much worse. The bacterium seemed to make the intestinal wall more prone to leakage. So-called leaky gut, in which the microbes and the molecules they produce aren't properly sequestered in the gastrointestinal tract, has been associated with several autoimmune conditions. Those microorganisms and their associated molecules can enter circulation and stimulate the immune system.

SFB affected other gut bacteria in the microbiome of the mouse model as well, and it became imbalanced, Jarjour noted.

Now, the researchers are planning to investigate whether removing SFB has a positive effect on the disease. Findings from that research could establish a basis for clinical research, added Jarjour.

Sources: The Ohio State University, Scientific Reports

 

About the Author
BS
Experienced research scientist and technical expert with authorships on over 30 peer-reviewed publications, traveler to over 70 countries, published photographer and internationally-exhibited painter, volunteer trained in disaster-response, CPR and DV counseling.
You May Also Like
JAN 27, 2022
Cannabis Sciences
Hemp-Mediated Synthesis of Gold & Silver Nanoparticles for Bacterial Biofilm Inhibition
JAN 27, 2022
Hemp-Mediated Synthesis of Gold & Silver Nanoparticles for Bacterial Biofilm Inhibition
For many years, antibiotic resistance has been urgently rising as a globally-significant public health concern. More rec ...
FEB 28, 2022
Plants & Animals
Fecal Microbiota Transplant Promising for Peanut Allergy Patients
FEB 28, 2022
Fecal Microbiota Transplant Promising for Peanut Allergy Patients
Peanut allergies can be fatal, leading to severe allergic reactions that can restrict breathing and digestive problems, ...
MAR 07, 2022
Health & Medicine
Could Cryptocurrency Change The Future Of Medicine?
MAR 07, 2022
Could Cryptocurrency Change The Future Of Medicine?
Cryptocurrency is something most people have heard of, but few understand. To some people, it's still a mythical currenc ...
APR 10, 2022
Microbiology
"Raised Without Antibiotics" Labels Found to be Misleading
APR 10, 2022
"Raised Without Antibiotics" Labels Found to be Misleading
There is growing concern about whether our antibiotics can keep pace with the threats posed by new and emerging bacteria ...
MAY 06, 2022
Immunology
Epstein-Barr Virus Vaccine Enters Phase 1 Trials
MAY 06, 2022
Epstein-Barr Virus Vaccine Enters Phase 1 Trials
The Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infects most people; it's thought that when we're young, about 90 percent of us acq ...
MAY 11, 2022
Microbiology
A High-Fiber Diet Lowers Antibiotic Resistance in Gut Microbes
MAY 11, 2022
A High-Fiber Diet Lowers Antibiotic Resistance in Gut Microbes
There is debate about exactly what makes a diet healthy, but most experts can agree on some things, like the importance ...
Loading Comments...