Researchers have identified a commensal bacteria used to produce a neurotransmitter that could help to stop or treat inflammatory bowel diseases.
The study at Balylor College of Medicine and Texas Children's Hospital reveals that the bacteria could be key in the fight against conditions such as Crohn's disease.
Dr Karina Pokusaeva, researcher on the study, explained: "We identified, to our knowledge, the first bifidobacterial strain, Bifidobacterium dentium, that is capable of secreting large amounts of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA).
"This molecule is a major inhibitory neurotransmitter in the central and enteric nervous systems."
Targeting GABA is known to mediate pain and Dr Pokusaeva and her team wished to discover if the human microbiome could allow them to create GABA and use it to mediate inflammation.
They found that Bifidobacterium dentium could help to stop inflammation by producing GABA in the intestine.
Previously, Bifidobacterium dentium has been found to cause oral cavities, promoting tooth decay.
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