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Crohn’s Disease And Fungal Imbalance Or Dysbiosis

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Crohn’s disease is a serious inflammatory bowel disease affects about 1 in 300 people and can flare up in any part of the GI tract.  Crohn’s can cause many serious problems including abdominal pain, diarrhea, fever, weight loss, malnutrition, and fatigue. 

Recent research has suggested that fungal and bacterial imbalance or dysbiosis in the digestive tract may play a role in Crohn’s disease.  An Italian study analyzed the colon mucosa of 23 Crohn’s patients and 10 controls and reported that total fungal load, levels of the fungi
Candida glabrata and Malassezia globosa, and levels of several Enterobacteriacae bacteria were significantly elevated in Crohn’s patients in flare up (Liguori, Lamas et al. 2016) .

Another study of 9 families in France and Belgium reported that stool specimens of Crohn’s disease patients had significantly higher levels of the fungi Candida tropicalis and the bacteria Escherichia coli and Serratia marcescens as compared to the stools of cohabiting first degree relatives without Crohn’s (Hoarau, Mukherjee et al. 2016).  Related studies have reported that Candida tropicalis and other Candida species along with the bacteria Escherichia coli and Serratia marcescens frequently form multiple species biofilms in the intestine’s of Crohn’s patientsIt is hypothesized that the combination of these 3 organisms may be especially inflammatory and toxic to the intestines. 

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More research is needed to study probiotics treatment on Crohn’s disease.  Meta-analysis studies have reported that probiotic usage has significant effects in improving ulcerative colitis but the beneficial effects of probiotics in treating Crohn’s disease is less strong (Shen, Zuo et al. 2014) .



References / Sources

Hoarau, G., et al. (2016). “Bacteriome and Mycobiome Interactions Underscore Microbial Dysbiosis in Familial Crohn’s Disease.” MBio 7(5). 

Liguori, G., et al. (2016). “Fungal Dysbiosis in Mucosa-associated Microbiota of Crohn’s Disease Patients.” J Crohns Colitis 10(3): 296-305.

Shen, J., et al. (2014). “Effect of probiotics on inducing remission and maintaining therapy in ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, and pouchitis: meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.” Inflamm Bowel Dis 20(1): 21-35. 


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