Healthy Gut Microbes Maintain Social Distance From Immune System, Study Finds

Gut microbes found in feces avoid triggering immune reactions that could lead to conditions like inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) by creating a mucus barrier that separates them from immune cells, a study shows. The discovery helps explain why antibiotics can create digestive problems.

It also provides a path toward potential new IBD therapeutic strategies, researchers said. The study, “Proximal colon–derived O-glycosylated mucus encapsulates and modulates the microbiota,” was published in the journal Science.

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