I find the following story exciting AND timely. There has been much
talk in our discussion boards lately regarding a bacterial infection
being the source/antagonist for at least some subtype of MS. Below,
find a new study that links Crohn’s disease, an autoimmune disorder of
the gastrointestinal tract, to a bacterial infection! MS and Crohn’s
are linked not only because of the autoimmune disease classification,
but also in therapies: Antegren was shown succesful in treating
Crohn’s, and there is a Low Dose Naltrexone trial currently underway
for Crohn’s as well.

And recently, minocycline (a common antibiotic), has shown promise
in small trials as an MS therapy… all of these are
potentially immunomodulatory, so the beneficial action is not
necessarily from killing bacteria, but the possibility is there.
Connecting the dots — could this be the missing link? Is the evidence
mounting that an infection causes some subset of cases with MS in
genetically susceptible individuals, and more importantly that some
sort of antibiotic treatment could be the answer?

No implications are raised in the research JUST YET.
Stay tuned (and keep your eyes on the discussion forum where literally
great science is happening right before your eyes)…
we’re getting there people and much thanks to our
incredible community! :) “A bacterium that causes intestinal illness in
cattle and sheep could also be responsible for Crohn’s disease,
researchers said on Friday… [We] believe it is due to a bacterium
called MAP… “We discovered the bacteria in the blood of Crohn’s
patients. This is the first time anyone has done that,”… “There is
strong evidence that this bacteria may be responsible for Crohn’s
disease.” Study Links Animal Bacteria to Crohn’s Disease Thu Sep 16,
7:12 PM ET By Patricia Reaney LONDON (Reuters) – A bacterium that
causes intestinal illness in cattle and sheep could also be responsible
for Crohn’s disease, researchers said on Friday. Crohn’s disease is an
inflammation in the small intestine that affects about a million people
worldwide. Scientists are not sure what causes it but they suspect it
is due to a reaction by the body’s immune system to a virus or
bacterium.

Dr Saleh Naser and researchers at the University of Central
Florida in Orlando believe it is due to a bacterium called MAP which is
found in cattle, sheep and goats suffering from an illness called
Paratuberculosis or Johne’s disease. “We discovered the bacteria in the
blood of Crohn’s patients. This is the first time anyone has done
that,” Naser said in an interview. “There is strong evidence that this
bacteria may be responsible for Crohn’s disease.”

Previous studies have concentrated on looking for MAP in the tissue of
Crohn’s patients and the outcome has been mixed, according to Naser.
MAP was found in the blood of patients with Crohn’s disease but not
in healthy people. “The blood is a sterile environment so the presence
of this bacteria in the blood indicates this disease might be systemic,
which means it may start in the intestine and ultimately it may infiltrate
into other organs,” he said. Abdominal pain, diarrhoea, rectal bleeding, weight
loss and fever are the most common symptoms of the illness. Naser, who
reported the finding in The Lancet medical journal, believes people can
be exposed to the bacteria but they do not develop the illness unless
they have a genetic susceptibility to it. In a commentary in the
journal, Professor Warwick Selby of the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in
Newtown, Australia, said although the research may fall short of
proving that MAP is one of the causes of the illness, it raises many
important questions. “The findings now need to be replicated in other
laboratories. Whatever one’s view, MAP cannot continue to be ignored in
Crohn’s disease,” he said. Original article can be found here:
http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=571&e=1&u=/nm/health_crohns_dc


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