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Crit Rev Clin Lab Sci. 2009;46(1):25-54. doi: 10.1080/10408360802485792 .

Intestinal bacteria and inflammatory bowel disease.

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Microbiology and Gut Biology Group, University of Dundee, Dundee, UK.


Crohn's disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC) are the two principal forms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Animal studies show that bacteria are involved in the etiology of IBD, and much is now known about the inflammatory processes associated with CD and UC, as well as the underlying genetic, environmental, and lifestyle issues that can affect an individual's predisposition to these diseases. However, while a number of candidate microorganisms have been put forward as causative factors in IBD, the primary etiologic agents are unknown. This review discusses the potential role of luminal and mucosal microbial communities in the etiology of IBD, and outlines studies that have been made using a variety of biotherapeutic therapies, involving the use of antibiotics, probiotics, prebiotics, and synbiotics.

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