LONDON, September 1 (SPIS MedWire). A new treatment for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) has been developed involving a bacterium used in the manufacture of dairy products. Scientists at the Flanders Interuniversity Institute for Biotechnology genetically modified Lactococcus lactis to produce anti-inflammatory interleukin-10 (IL-10). Administered orally in mice, the strain appeared to prevent and even cure chronic IBD. Conventional treatments administered orally or by injection are hindered because only small amounts of medicine actually reach the target site, and side-effects occur because large amounts enter healthy tissues. Using Lactococcus lactis to produce IL-10 overcomes these problems because the IL-10 is delivered locally to the intestine. This also prevents IL-10 being degraded in the stomach and small intestine, so 10,000 times less IL-10 is needed to possibly cure IBD.

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