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New cytokine treatment for inflammatory bowel disease

BMJ 2000; 321 doi: (Published 02 September 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;321:530
  1. Abi Berger
  1. BMJ

    Bacteria that produce cytokines could be used to treat inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), if the results of research in mice are reproduced in humans.

    Belgian scientists have engineered a non-pathogenic bacterium that produces interleukin 10, an anti-inflammatory cytokine that reduces inflammatory colitis. Because the genetically engineered bacterium survives stomach acid the cytokine can be delivered direct to the inflammatory target in the colon. This could reduce the dose needed and any systemic effects (Science 2000;289:1352-4).

    The team, led by Dr Lothar Steidler, a molecular biologist at Ghent University and Flanders Interuniversity Institute for Biotechnology, has been using the bacterium Lactococcus lactis to produce cytokines since 1995. The researchers' interest in this particular species developed …

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