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Arthritis Research UK Microbiome

The human intestine contains a large number and diverse array of microbes collectively referred to as the microbiome. Recent studies have linked changes in the intestinal microbiome to diverse human diseases associated with chronic inflammation, including inflammatory arthritis. Whether these changes are causal or correlative and their mechanism of action remains to be established.

The ARUK strategic award supports the Inflammatory Arthritis Microbiome Consortium (IAMC) led by Prof Powrie. This international team of investigators uses a multidisciplinary approach to examine the microbial community in patients with inflammatory arthritis. The aim is to identify specific types of bacteria or their products that associate with disease onset, progression and response to therapy. Follow-up experiments in a germ-free setting will assess the possibility of microbiota manipulation to influence host immunity and inflammation.

We are absolutely delighted with this Strategic Award from Arthritis Research UK. The funding will allow our consortium to push forward with its goal of bridging the gap between microbiome description and function, a key first step in unlocking the potential of the microbiome to yield new therapies for inflammatory diseases.  - Professor Fiona Powrie