The biotechnology company Alimentary Health has announced results from two studies that demonstrate the anti-inflammatory activity of a natural probiotic bacterial strain of human origin, Bifantis (Bifidobacterium infantis 35624), in models of arthritis and Salmonella infection.
Data from these studies were presented this week at the 38th annual Digestive Disease Week (DDW) conference taking place in Washington D.C.
The inflammatory response is a key part of the immune system's battle against invaders, but in certain conditions and diseases, it can do more harm than good by injuring healthy tissue. Inflammation is associated with a variety of conditions, such as inflammatory bowel disease, arthritis, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, Alzheimer's disease and more. Bifantis has previously been shown to modulate the inflammatory response in a clinical trial in irritable bowel syndrome. The results announced this week demonstrate that the anti-inflammatory effects of Bifantis are not restricted to the gastrointestinal tract.
"Inflammation is a major factor in a number of chronic diseases, which affect millions of people," said Barry Kiely, Chief Executive Officer, Alimentary Health and an early investigator of the probiotic effects of Bifantis. "Data continue to show that Bifantis has anti-inflammatory activity, which may be useful in the management of inflammation-linked diseases."
In one of the studies released today, four bacterial strains were fed to mice. Of these four strains, researchers determined that only Bifantis delayed the onset of artificially induced arthritis and resulted in less severe arthritic symptoms. This study represents some of the latest work assessing the link between diet involving probiotics and certain autoimmune diseases.
In the second study, mice were fed Bifantis and then exposed to Salmonella, a common bacteria associated with a form of food poisoning. Animals that received Bifantis showed dramatically increased numbers of certain immune cells that control the immune system's response to harmful pathogens, in this case Salmonella. Bifantis also increased the numbers of T-regulatory cells in the body, in effect limiting the concentrations of certain signals essential to inflammation, such as cytokines.