Bacterial Biofilms May Contribute Greatly to Autoimmune Diseases


Founder of Health Rising and Phoenix Rising
Staff member
We are now starting to understand how the bacteria in our gut may trigger complex human diseases including lupus
They found that bacterial biofilms in the gut can provoke lupus in mice (engineered to be susceptible to lupus). Biofilms are densely packed bacterial communities that produce substances which protect the bacteria from the immune system and antibiotics. Biofilms can occur in our guts, in dental plaque and in urinary tract infections. Among the substances they produce are amyloids and DNA. Lupus researchers found that these two substance combine to form remarkably durable substances.

The new research indicates that the complexes formed by these two factor not only cause inflammation in lupus but the auto-antibodies that attack the body in lupus, send "tendrils" into the biofilm and produce large amounts of proinflammatory cytokines - REALLY large amounts of pro-inflammatory cytokines.

"I was super excited when I saw how activated the dendritic cells were on the biofilm " Dr. Gallucci said. The levels of cytokines released when dendritic cells were exposed to curli-DNA complexes actually exceeded the most robust response known previously -- the response to lipopolysaccharide (LPS).

They found that an autoimmune response occurred quickly - REALLY quickly:
Within two weeks, the researchers found the kind of antibodies that attack "self," known as autoantibodies....The response was remarkably fast. It normally takes mice four to five months to develop autoantibodies.

This all may be very gut related: three of the four bacterial families containing the genes that produce the specific factors found are in the gut( Bacteroidetes, Proteobacteria, and Firmicutes).
The beneficial bacteria found in our guts can cause problems when they cross the intestinal barrier and reach to places they shouldn't be. Thus, besides infectious bacteria, a leaky gut could cause many problems. We are now starting to understand how the bacteria in our gut may trigger complex human diseases including lupus. So it's critical for us to understand the biology of the bacterial communities and their interactions with the immune system."

It's interesting they found amyloids because Baraniuk's first spinal fluid proteome study found evidence of increased amyloids. ...

"So understanding how the biofilms affect flares could lead to a different treatment approach. Now, they give immune suppressive drugs. Maybe you want to do something else, like treat the underlying infection."

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