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Ulcerative colitis is an inflammatory bowel disease that is characterized by chronic inflammation of the colon. The direct cause of the disease is unknown, but patients are commonly treated with anti-inflammatory drugs.
Changes in the composition and metabolic function of the gut microbiota have been linked to IBD, but a direct causal association has yet to be established in humans. This Review discusses the evidence supporting dysbiosis in the gut microbiota in Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, exploring evidence from animal models and the translation to human disease.
Metalloproteinase-9 has been suggested as therapeutic target to treat inflammatory bowel disease. Here de Bruyn et al. show that genetic and pharmacological inhibition of metalloproteinase-9 does not ameliorate inflammation and fibrosis in mice challenged with acute and chronic colitis protocols.
Helminths are worms that can live in the human intestine. Joel Weinstock, a gastroenterologist at Tufts Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts, studies how they affect inflammation and the body's immune response. He spoke to Nature about how helminths might lead to treatments for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).