Tag Archives: Irritable Bowel Syndrome

U.Va.’s Division of Infectious Diseases and International Health Could Lead To a New Treatment For C. diff. Infection (CDI)

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Every year, about half a million patients are infected by Clostridium difficile, an otherwise harmless bacterium that can multiply out of control when the use of antibiotics upsets the balance of microorganisms in the gut. In 2011, about 15,000 deaths were directly attributable to the infection, according to a recent study by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Current probiotic treatments, which promote the growth of helpful bacteria, have been ineffective against the infection, also known as C. diff.

But work being done at U.Va.’s Division of Infectious Diseases and International Health could lead to a new treatment by the end of the calendar year, according to Dr. Bill Petri, chief of the division. That’s an unusually optimistic estimate in medical research, where scientific breakthroughs predate new treatments by several years.

“Some of these advanced probiotics are actually being tested today in the clinic for their role,” Petri said. “We’re actually participating in advanced clinical trials at U.Va.”

Immunologist Erica L. Buonomo was the driving force behind the new discovery, Petri said, which has to do with the role of white blood cells in protecting against C. diff.

Buonomo found that a particular type of white blood cells, called eosinophils, act as a barrier against the infection, which breaks down the lining of the gut. These eosinophils are recruited by a protein called IL-25. A serious C. diff infection kills eosinophils, allowing the bacteria to enter the gut.

The researchers found that gut bacteria stimulate the production of IL-25, so the right probiotic could help with the production of protective eosinophils.

“We identified a pathway in the immune response that reduces the severity of an infection,” Buonomo said. “When we activate this pathway, we find mice are a lot less sick.”

The discovery would be especially helpful for elderly patients, who are most at risk. It also could have larger implications in the world of microbiology.

Eosinophils are best known for their role in allergic reactions and asthma attacks, when a high number of eosinophils cause inflammation.

The function of these cells was not entirely clear before Buonomo’s discovery. She believes this knowledge could help doctors fight other types of gastrointestinal disorders, such as irritable bowel syndrome.

U.Va. is now working on a probiotic with a Boston-based firm called Seres Therapeutics 

The finished product will be tested in Charlottesville, Petri said.

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PODCAST of June 28th C. diff. Spores and More With Guests Dr. Sliman & Dr. Pimentel As We Discuss Synthetic Biologics: Protecting the Gut Microbiome and Maintaining Human Health

 

Listen to the PODCAST of the live broadcasted

on  June 28th,  2016

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C. diff. Spores and More,”™ Global Broadcasting Network – innovative and educational interactive healthcare talk radio program discusses

This Episode:  

Synthetic Biologics: Protecting the Gut Microbiome
and Maintaining Human Health

With Our Guests:

Dr. Joseph Sliman, MD
Senior Vice President, Clinical & Regulatory Affairs

Dr. Mark Pimentel, MD, FRCP(C)
Director of the GI Motility Program and Laboratory at Cedars-Sanai

On Tuesday, June 28th  we discussed public awareness of the microbiome and its link to human health – is on the rise as evidenced by recent government-sponsored programs such as the National Microbiome Initiative.  Protection of the natural gut microbiome from the unintended consequences of intravenous (IV) antibiotics, which are excreted into the gut, is expected to protect against opportunistic enteric infections.   Recent clinical data suggest that the absence or abundance of certain microbes may be directly linked to certain infections and diseases including a Clostridium difficile infection (CDI), and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).   Synthetic Biologics is developing two microbiome-focused drug candidates in Phase 2 development including SYN-004 which is designed to protect the gut microbiome by degrading certain IV beta-lactam antibiotics for the prevention of a CDI, antibiotic associated-diarrhea (AAD) and the emergence of antibiotic-resistant organisms.  And SYN-010 is intended to reduce the impact of methane producing organisms in the gut microbiome to treat an underlying cause of irritable bowel syndrome with constipation (IBS-C).   Synthetic Biologics Inc.’s Joseph Sliman, MD, Senior Vice President, Clinical and Regulatory Affairs with Mark Pimentel, MD, FRCP(C), Director of the GI Motility Program and Laboratory at Cedars-Sinai, will be discussing both the Company’s novel microbiome-focused product candidates.

 

MORE ABOUT OUR GUESTS:

Dr Joseph Sliman, MD, Senior Vice President, Clinical and Regulatory Affairs.

Dr. Sliman joined Synthetic Biologics in January 2013 as the Senior Vice President, Clinical & Regulatory Affairs. In this position, Dr. Sliman will be responsible for the design and implementation of all aspects of clinical development, including clinical trials, and will lead the Company’s regulatory initiatives. During his service in the United States Navy, Dr. Sliman led the U. S. Pacific Fleet disease surveillance programs, including influenza surveillance, preparedness, and prevention, as well as communicable disease and injury surveillance and prevention and health policy development. Dr. Sliman earned an M.D. from the Uniformed Services University, a Master’s Degree in Public Health from the Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health, and a B.S. in Molecular and Cell Biology, with Honors in Biology, from Pennsylvania State University

Dr Mark Pimental, MD, FRCP(C), Director of the GI Motility Program and
Laboratory at Cedars-Sanai.

Mark Pimentel, MD, FRCP(C), is Director of the GI Motility Program and
Laboratory at Cedars-Sinai, Associate Professor of Medicine at CSMC and Professor of Medicine at UCLA Geffen School of Medicine in Los Angeles, CA. Dr. Pimentel completed three years of undergraduate degree with honors in microbiology and biochemistry at the University of Manitoba, Canada. This was followed by his medical degree and his BSc(Med) from the Univeristy of Manitoba Health Sciences Center in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada where he also completed a residency in internal medicine. His medical training includes a fellowship in gastroenterology at the UCLA Affiliated Training Program. Active in research Dr. Pimentel has served as a principal investigator or co-investigator for numerous basic sciences, transitional, and clinical studies in such areas as IBS, and the relationship between gut flora composition and human disease.

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C. diff. Spores and More ™“ Global Broadcasting Network spotlights world renowned topic experts, research scientists, healthcare professionals, organization representatives,C. diff. survivors, board members, and C Diff Foundation volunteers who are all creating positive changes in the C. diff. community worldwide.

Through their interviews, the C Diff Foundation mission will connect, educate, and empower many worldwide.

Questions received through the show page portal will be reviewed and addressed  by the show’s Medical Correspondent, Dr. Fred Zar, MD, FACP,  Dr. Fred Zar is a Professor of Clinical Medicine, Vice HeZarPhotoWebsiteTop (2)ad for Education in the Department of Medicine, and Program Director of the Internal Medicine Residency at the University of Illinois at Chicago.  Over the last two decades he has been a pioneer in the study of the treatment of
Clostridium difficile disease and the need to stratify patients by disease severity.

To access the C. diff. Spores and More program page and library, please click on the following link:    www.voiceamerica.com/show/2441/c-diff-spores-and-more

 

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