Research indicates that rod-shaped bacteria, of the species Clostridium, Prevotella, and Actinomyces, in the proximal small intestine may contribute to some cases of celiac disease in children.

Recent data builds on previous research by the team from 1985 to 1996, which proved that rod-shaped bacteria were present in the proximal small intestine of Swedish children with celiac disease, but not in those without celiac disease.

For the current study, Sten Hammarström and colleagues from Umeå University in Sweden used an electron microscope to scan proximal small intestine biopsies from 45 children with celiac disease taken between 2004 and 2007, and 18 without the condition.

To identify the bacteria, they used 16S ribosomal DNA sequencing in DNA extracted from biopsies washed with solution containing an agent that enriches bacteria attached to the epithelial lining.

In healthy children with no celiac disease, Streptococcus and Neisseria bacteria are most common of the normal, mucosa-associated microbial