Crohn’s Disease Treatments Alter Components of Gut Microbiome

Specialty Pharmacy Times, May/June 2016, Volume 7, Issue 3

TREATMENTS FOR CROHN’S DISEASE may impact an individual’s gut microbiome without restoring the microbial balance in full, according to a study published in Cell Host and Microbiome.

The study evaluated fecal samples from 90 children with Crohn’s disease and 26 children without the disease. The researchers studied the patients’ enteral nutrition or anti TNFa antibodies to find the full complement and dynamics of bacteria, fungi, archaea, and viruses during treatment.

Over the duration of the 8-week study, the researchers determined each Crohn’s disease treatment had a different effect on the gut microbial community. They discovered that antibiotics suppressed bacterial growth, but seemed to facilitate the growth of fungi.

Formula diets were found to decrease Crohn’s disease symptoms and reduce inflammation, however, this diet did not correct the unbalanced bacterial population in the microbiome. Immunosuppressant therapy caused inflammation and bacterial dysbiosis to decrease, but fungal dysbiosis continued.

“The formula based diet helped the children to improve their symptoms and inflammation despite making the microbiota initially more dysbiotic,” co-senior author Gary Wu, MD, a professor of Gastroenterology, explained in a press release. “This is an intriguing finding implying that it may not be necessary to completely restore a healthy microbiome to provide a beneficial effect.”