Role of gut microbiota studied in pregnant women with lupus

A new study shows that pregnancy and breastfeeding could change the way the body reacts to conventional lupus treatment in women due to imbalances in the gut bacterial community, or dysbiosis. The research was undertaken to understand the higher risk of severe flares and help women with lupus experience healthy pregnancies and successful outcomes, by improving therapeutic approaches.

The human gut contains about 38 trillion bacteria, from over a hundred species. Researcher Xin M. Luo says, “Disturbance of the gut microbiota exists in the pathogenesis of many autoimmune diseases, including lupus. Our work helps to uncover the mechanisms underlying pregnancy-induced disease flares and offers the possibility of developing new therapeutic strategies for pregnant women with lupus.”

“For patients with autoimmune lupus, diet and probiotics are the two relatively easy and acceptable approaches that can potentially improve disease management through modulating the gut microbiota,” Luo continued. “But it is challenging to achieve this goal due to the complexity of the disease pathologies, the complexity of gut microbiota and the differences of gut microbiota communities among individuals.”

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