The microbiome and inflammatory bowel disease
© 2019 American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a chronic immune-mediated disease affecting the gastrointestinal tract. IBD consists of 2 subtypes: ulcerative colitis and Crohn disease. IBD is thought to develop as a result of interactions between environmental, microbial, and immune-mediated factors in a genetically susceptible host. Of late, the potential role of the microbiome in the development, progression, and treatment of IBD has been a subject of considerable interest and enquiry. Indeed, studies in human subjects have shown that the gut microbiome is different in patients with IBD compared with that in healthy control subjects. Other evidence in support of a fundamental role for the microbiome in patients with IBD includes identification of mutations in genes involved in microbiome-immune interactions among patients with IBD and epidemiologic observations implicating such microbiota-modulating risk factors as antibiotic use, cigarette smoking, levels of sanitation, and diet in the pathogenesis of IBD. Consequently, there has been much interest in the possible benefits of microbiome-modulating interventions, such as probiotics, prebiotics, antibiotics, fecal microbiota transplantation, and gene manipulation in the treatment of IBD. In this review we will discuss the role of the gut microbiome in patients with IBD; our focus will be on human studies.
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