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Intestinal enzyme helps maintain population of beneficial bacteria
Date:10/18/2010

oked at whether the enzyme directly interacted with intestinal bacteria.

Studies of mice lacking the gene for IAP revealed that the animals had reduced levels of all intestinal bacteria and practically none of the common beneficial strains of E. coli. In fact, the most common E. coli strain would not grow if introduced into these knockout mice. But when the animals received oral doses of IAP, beneficial E. coli proliferated quickly after other microbial species were killed by antibiotics. Experiments with normal mice infected with an antibiotic-resistant Salmonella strain showed that IAP treatment significantly reduced Salmonella levels in the animals' feces. Although only 20 percent of animals not treated with IAP survived, 70 percent of those receiving the enzyme were alive 7 days later.

"We believe that IAP rapidly restores E. coli and other beneficial bacteria after antibiotic treatment and that the higher numbers of these bacteria prevent colonization by Salmonella or other pathogens by competing for nutrients and attachment sites," says Mahdu Malo, PhD, MBBS, of MGH Surgery, corresponding and first author of the Gut paper. "We need to test this approach in larger animals before planning a human clinical trial, but this approach has the potential of solving a common, often serious health problem."


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Contact: Sue McGreevey
smcgreevey@partners.org
617-724-2764
Massachusetts General Hospital
Source:Eurekalert

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