Nav: Home

New, noninvasive test for bowel diseases

June 26, 2019

Gut diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are increasingly prevalent worldwide, especially in industrialised countries. In 2015 alone, 250,000 people in the UK were diagnosed with IBD, and 3 million in the United States (1, 2). Symptoms can include pain and swelling of the stomach, bloody diarrhoea, weight loss and extreme tiredness.

A new study in Experimental Physiology proposes a novel, non-invasive test for assessing gut function that may help screen and monitor treatment of gut diseases using only a small sample (1 mL) of blood and stool. How well your gut functions is determined by the gut-blood barrier , a complex multi-layer system. This can be compared to a fine-tuned filter that precisely controls the passage of nutrients and prevents bacteria passing from inside the bowel into the bloodstream.

In those with IBD, and other intestinal diseases, the gut-blood barrier is impaired. Here the intestinal wall is more like a ripped sieve, allowing more bacterial products to pass from the gut into the blood. This is commonly referred to as a leaky gut.

This test measures the concentration of gut bacterial products (produced by bacteria during metabolism) in the patient's blood and stool. The authors believe that with further research this assessment of gut leakage will be very important in the diagnosis and treatment of IBD and other intestinal diseases. (See related video for more on the science of leaky gut and the gut-to-blood permeability ratio).

The usual strategy for diagnosing and monitoring IBD is based on a colonoscopy, which is invasive, often requires anaesthesia, and assesses structural lesions, rather than gut malfunction. Gut disorders can happen before there are visible structural changes, so diagnosing based on functional tests evaluating gut leakage could allow clinicians to detect the disease earlier. While there is no cure for IBD, it is controllable. Early diagnosis would enable patients to control symptoms before they became severe, improving their quality of life.

This new research provides a non-invasive, simple test that could not only be useful for diagnosing IBD, but also other gut disorders, such as celiac disease and food allergies. It's also helpful for detecting diseases that result in a leaky gut, such as heart failure, high blood pressure and liver ailments.

Marcin Ufnal, senior author on the study said: "This may be a very important tool for diagnosis and treatment of gut and other diseases, using the leaky gut as a marker for disease, as well as a potential target for treatment. "
-end-


The Physiological Society

Related Bacteria Articles:

Bacteria might help other bacteria to tolerate antibiotics better
A new paper by the Dynamical Systems Biology lab at UPF shows that the response by bacteria to antibiotics may depend on other species of bacteria they live with, in such a way that some bacteria may make others more tolerant to antibiotics.
Two-faced bacteria
The gut microbiome, which is a collection of numerous beneficial bacteria species, is key to our overall well-being and good health.
Microcensus in bacteria
Bacillus subtilis can determine proportions of different groups within a mixed population.
Right beneath the skin we all have the same bacteria
In the dermis skin layer, the same bacteria are found across age and gender.
Bacteria must be 'stressed out' to divide
Bacterial cell division is controlled by both enzymatic activity and mechanical forces, which work together to control its timing and location, a new study from EPFL finds.
How bees live with bacteria
More than 90 percent of all bee species are not organized in colonies, but fight their way through life alone.
The bacteria building your baby
Australian researchers have laid to rest a longstanding controversy: is the womb sterile?
Hopping bacteria
Scientists have long known that key models of bacterial movement in real-world conditions are flawed.
Bacteria uses viral weapon against other bacteria
Bacterial cells use both a virus -- traditionally thought to be an enemy -- and a prehistoric viral protein to kill other bacteria that competes with it for food according to an international team of researchers who believe this has potential implications for future infectious disease treatment.
Drug diversity in bacteria
Bacteria produce a cocktail of various bioactive natural products in order to survive in hostile environments with competing (micro)organisms.
More Bacteria News and Bacteria Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Teaching For Better Humans 2.0
More than test scores or good grades–what do kids need for the future? This hour, TED speakers explore how to help children grow into better humans, both during and after this time of crisis. Guests include educators Richard Culatta and Liz Kleinrock, psychologist Thomas Curran, and writer Jacqueline Woodson.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#556 The Power of Friendship
It's 2020 and times are tough. Maybe some of us are learning about social distancing the hard way. Maybe we just are all a little anxious. No matter what, we could probably use a friend. But what is a friend, exactly? And why do we need them so much? This week host Bethany Brookshire speaks with Lydia Denworth, author of the new book "Friendship: The Evolution, Biology, and Extraordinary Power of Life's Fundamental Bond". This episode is hosted by Bethany Brookshire, science writer from Science News.
Now Playing: Radiolab

Space
One of the most consistent questions we get at the show is from parents who want to know which episodes are kid-friendly and which aren't. So today, we're releasing a separate feed, Radiolab for Kids. To kick it off, we're rerunning an all-time favorite episode: Space. In the 60's, space exploration was an American obsession. This hour, we chart the path from romance to increasing cynicism. We begin with Ann Druyan, widow of Carl Sagan, with a story about the Voyager expedition, true love, and a golden record that travels through space. And astrophysicist Neil de Grasse Tyson explains the Coepernican Principle, and just how insignificant we are. Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.