UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers have used precision editing of the bacterial populations in the gut to prevent or reduce the severity of inflammation in a mouse model of colitis.

The potential strategy — which targets metabolic pathways that are active only during intestinal inflammation — prevented or reduced inflammation in a mouse model of colitis while exerting no obvious effect in control animals with healthy, balanced bacterial populations, said Dr. Sebastian Winter, Assistant Professor of Microbiology and co-corresponding author of the study published online today in Nature.

“Our results provide a conceptual framework for precisely altering the bacterial species that line the gut in order to reduce the inflammation associated with the uncontrolled proliferation of bacteria seen in colitis and other forms of inflammatory bowel disease [IBD],” he said.

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