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Medicalindependent.ie is Ireland's only investigative medical news website for doctors, healthcare professionals and anyone with an interest in health issues.

Established in 2010, along with its sister publication The Medical Independent, our stated aim is to investigate and analyse the major issues affecting healthcare and the medical profession in Ireland. The Medical Independent has won a number of awards for its investigative journalism, and its stories are frequently picked up by national digital, broadcast and print media. The Medical Independent is published by GreenCross Publishing.

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The Gander – 21 February 2019

By Dermot - 21st Feb 2019 | 11 views

Pat Kelly

The Medical Independent blog takes a look at the more unconventional niches in science and research

A newly-published study has highlighted a potential link between autoimmunity and microbiota in both clinical and pre-clinical disease, particularly in type 1 diabetes.

The authors suggest that gut microbiota, as well as human leukocyte antibody (HLA) genes, play a part in the disease and found a link between genetics and the human immune response and disturbances in the microbiome.

Studying 14 pools of bacteria and children with Crohn’s disease, type 1 diabetes and healthy controls, they discovered that serum from both the Crohn’s and diabetes patients had higher than usual levels of anticommensal antibodies. This suggested distinct patterns of immune response to gut microbiota. They concluded that the immune response in participants, as well as their genotype, predicted diagnosis.

Co-author Dr Christopher Yau of the University of Toronto, Canada, commented: “The interesting point about these risk genes is that they also play a central role in the ability of the immune system to recognise both proteins coming from foreign sources, such as bacteria and viruses, and proteins coming from the host body.”

The team hope to extend their work to look for biomarkers  in other diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis.

The research was published recently in Science Immunology.

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