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BEACON TRANSCRIPT – A team of scientists managed to find the underlying cause of Crohn’s disorder. The illness, which affects approximately 700,000 Americans, was a mystery for medical researchers up until the study was published in the mBio medical journal.
According to a CDC report, over 700,000 people are currently fighting Crohn disorder. These patients must endure severe abdominal pain, abnormal levels of fatigue, constant and unexplainable weight loss, and diarrhea.
Previous studies explored the possibility of the disease being caused by genetic malformations or even an immune system that started backfiring, attacking the patient. However, one previous paper speculated that the illness might be caused bacteria.
This is the premise on which Mahmoud Ghannoum built his study. He and his team gathered stool samples from people suffering from Crohn disorder, their family, and the people leaving in the same neighborhood.
After analyzing the samples, the researchers found a major difference between the feces belonging to individuals that suffered from Crohn and those who did not.
It seems that the sick participants had an abnormally high number of bacteria and fungi in their fecal matter. The scientists found two types of bacteria, E. coli and Serratia marcescens and one type of fungal organism, Candida tropicalis that abounded in the samples provided by the patients that suffered from Crohn.
After identifying the organisms that are most possibly responsible for triggering the disorder, the team started testing them under different control lab conditions.
It seems that when placed together in an environment that mimicked the human intestines, the three organisms created a sort of biofilm which can cause the inflammatory problems associated with Crohn disorder.
Other observations included the fact that the patients who participated in the study had a very rich and different stomach environment than their family members. This lead the scientists to speculate that environmental factors are also responsible for the development of the illness.
Now that the cause of the problem was discovered, researchers have enough information to start a new study that focuses on finding a cure for the formerly mysterious disorder.
Crohn disease is also associated with gluten intolerance, so this could mean good news for the people who find gluten-free food hard to digest.
Image source: Wikipedia