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Discovery of bacterial signature of intestinal disease

Mucus layer (red) keeping Escherichia coli (green) at a safe distance within the colon, preventing them from breaking through into the underlying tissues of the body. Therefore, the mucus layer is important to protect against inflammation and infection. © Bahtiyar Yilmaz, University of Bern

Researchers from the Department of Biomedical Research of the University of Bern and the University Clinic of Visceral Surgery and Medicine of the Inselspital Bern, Switzerland, have discovered that changes in the composition of the intestinal bacteria in patients with chronic inflammatory bowel disease affect the severity of the disease and the success of therapy. The advance provides an important basis to improve treatment of these diseases.

The Swiss IBD cohort study was financed by the Swiss National Foundation for Research and the GutX-program of the research initiative for systems biology (medical program) SystemsX. The SystemsX computational biology section of the study was led by Prof. Jörg Stelling, ETH Zürich. The intestinal samples were provided from two large patient cohorts, the Swiss IBD cohort led by Professor Gerhard Rogler of the University Hospital of Zürich, and a separate cohort of patients from the Gastroenterologists of the Inselspital Bern.

Media Release University of Bern