March 12, 2018
Innovative novel research, co-funded by the Lupus Research Alliance, has produced a significant discovery about the role of bacteria and points to the potential for a vaccine or treatment that might prevent an autoimmune attack by suppressing specific bacteria.
Led by Dr. Martin Kriegel at Yale University, the study was published today in the professional journal Science. As reported by Yale University, Dr. Kriegel’s team discovered that the bacteria Enterococcus gallinarium normally found in the small intestine, can travel to other organs like the liver and trigger an autoimmune attack. Testing tissue from people with lupus, they found that both an antibiotic and a vaccine could stop the bacteria’s growth in the liver, thereby preventing the autoimmune response. Also, they were able to target E. gallinarium specifically, avoiding effects on the other bacteria in the intestine.
Watch this video to hear Dr. Kriegel’s team explain their study and the possibility of treating lupus and other autoimmune diseases.