New discovery - bacteria and IBS

In ground breaking research, Australian researchers Professor Marjorie Walker and Professor Nicholas Talley from the University of Newcastle, in collaboration with colleagues from Sweden, have described a bacteria in the colon strongly associated with the irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) for the first time. The paper Colonic Spirochetosis is Associated with Colonic Eosinophilia and Irritable Bowel Syndrome in a General Population in Sweden has been published in the journal Human Pathology.

IBS affects one in six Australians and the causes have remained mysterious. Professors Walker and Talley also identified inflammation in the colon associated with the bacteria which has not been previously recognised. If the bacteria cause IBS they probably explain only a small number of people with IBS but this would still be a breakthrough.

Professors Talley and Walker were the first to show similar inflammation in the upper gut in dyspepsia (severe indigestion), a disorder related to IBS, and now confirmed by other researchers. They have proposed conducting a clinical trial to determine if treatment of the bacteria cures IBS in those infected.

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