CLEVELAND (CBSMiami) – Researchers have made a breakthrough in the cause of Crohn’s disease, which in turn, could lead to a cure. According to a new study, researchers at Case Western Reserve University identified a fungus that works with two types of bacteria to cause symptoms of Crohn’s disease.
The study is the first to find a fungus plays a role in development of the disease, and the discovery may lead to new ways of treating Crohn’s, according to researchers involved with the study.
Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory bowel disorder that causes inflammation of the digestive tract leading to abdominal pain, severe diarrhea and fatigue, and is one of the most common forms of inflammatory bowel disorder.
“We already know that bacteria, in addition to genetic and dietary factors, play a major role in causing Crohn’s disease,” Dr. Mahmoud Ghannoum, a professor and director of the Center for Medical Mycology at Case Western Reserve University and lead author of the study, said in a press release. “Essentially, patients with Crohn’s have abnormal immune responses to these bacteria, which inhabit the intestines of all people. While most researchers focus their investigations on these bacteria, few have examined the role of fungi, which are also present in everyone’s intestines.”
The study was published in the journal mBio.
The researchers found a fungus, known as Candida tropicalis may work together with gut bacteria Serratia marcescens and E. coli to cause the debilitating and sometimes fatal condition.
The study could lead to better medicines that reduce symptoms and potentially lead to a cure.