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Rod-Shaped Bacteria May Trigger Celiac Disease

Am J Gastroenterol. 2004 May;99(5):894-904

Celiac.com 06/08/2004 – To determine what triggers celiac disease, researchers recently used an electron microscope to look at the jejunal biopsies of several groups of children: A group with untreated celiac disease, one with treated celiac disease, another with challenged celiac disease, and a healthy control group. The researchers discovered rod-shaped bacteria attached to the small intestinal epithelium in both the treated and untreated celiac-disease groups, but not in the healthy control group.

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The researchers conclude: "Unique carbohydrate structures of the glycocalyx/mucous layer are likely discriminating features of celiac disease patients. These glycosylation differences could facilitate bacterial adhesion. Ectopic production of MUC2, HD-5, and lysozyme in active celiac disease is compatible with goblet and Paneth cell metaplasia induced by high interferon-gamma production by intraepithelial lymphocytes."

The idea that bacteria may be involved in the pathogenesis of celiac disease is a hypothesis that was also proposed by Roy S. Jamron in an article that originally appeared in the Spring 2004 edition of Celiac.coms Scott-Free Newsletter, which is further supported by this research.

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