Sergio Baranzini, University of California - San Francisco

The Role of the Gut Microbiome in Neurological Diseases

Dr. Sergio Baranzini

Thursday February 16 1:30 - 2:30PM

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Nanaline Duke Building, 307 Research Drive, Room 147

About This Event:

Sergio’s lab has been at the heart of the International MS Genetics Consortium in identifying risk alleles associated with MS and biomarkers of MS development and progression, however more recently he has explored the gut microbiome in the context of neurological diseases including MS, and integrating multi-modal datasets towards understanding the pathoetiology of MS.


The human microbiome is emerging as a major driver of multiple pathologic conditions from metabolic, to neurological to immune disorders, including MS. In particular the gut microbiome has been associated with critical regulatory functions over both innate and adaptive immune responses and its dependence on diet and environmental influences make this an attractive venue to modulate and potentially cure these conditions. However, with the exception of diseases affecting the gastrointestinal tract (colitis, inflammatory bowel disease, etc.) the magnitude of the observed effects are modest. This underscores the need for large, collaborative studies that use standardized protocols and analytical methods to maximize their usefulness and relevance. In this context, we hypothesized that gut microbiota contribute to the pathogenesis of MS and thus analyzed the microbiome of stool samples from 64 treatment-naïve MS patients and 68 healthy controls using amplicon sequencing of the 16S V4 region of the rRNA gene. We characterized immune profiles of cultured PBMC in response to specific bacteria harbored by MS patients. This study identifies specific human gut bacteria that regulate adaptive autoimmune responses, suggesting therapeutic targeting of the microbiota as a novel treatment for MS.    The most recent results of this project will be presented and discussed during the seminar.”


  • Duke Center for Research in Autoimmunity and Multiple Sclerosis

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