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Scientists find key to growth of 'bad' bacteria in inflammatory bowel disease
Date:2/7/2013

rients," he said.

The inflammation in the intestines of those with IBD leads to the release of nitric oxide radicals that are powerful in attacking bacteria, Baumler explained. Yet these nitric oxide radicals are also very unstable, and eventually decompose into nitrate, which can be used by bacteria like E. coli to thrive and grow. By contrast, good bacteria in the gut grows through fermentation a much slower process.

Determining the reasons why bacteria like E. coli can edge out good bacteria in the gut is crucial for determining new ways to halt the IBD disease process, according to Baumler. Current treatments for IBD suppress the immune response through antibiotics, corticosteroids or other powerful immune-modifying drugs. But long-term side effects can limit their use and their effectiveness for IBD patients.

The UC Davis team's research indicates that targeting the molecular pathways that generate nitric oxide and nitrate, as well as other molecules that feed harmful gut bacteria, could calm down and normalize the intestinal environment in IBD, Baumler noted. They are already doing research with one candidate drug that could halt the multiple pathways by which harmful bacteria thrive in IBD.

"The idea would be to inhibit all pathways that produce molecules that can be used by bacteria such as E. coli for respiration and growth," Baumler said. "Essentially you could then smother the bacteria."


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Contact: Carole Gan
carole.gan@ucdmc.ucdavis.edu
916-734-9047
University of California - Davis Health System
Source:Eurekalert

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