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The human body consists of millions of commensal bacteria (the microbiome), with the intestinal tract being the most prevalent site of colonization. This colonization process begins at birth, and despite numerous factors such as ageing, diet and drug use affecting the microbiome make-up, by adulthood the composition of the gut bacteria is relatively consistent across local populations. The recent advent of new scientific techniques has enabled us to explore how the microbiome affects health and, in particular, has shed light on the involvement of the microbiome in the pathogenesis of inflammatory disease. In this review we highlight the current evidence for microbiome manipulation in inflammatory arthritis in animal and human models and discuss potential therapeutics targeting the microbiome as treatment for these diseases. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the British Society for Rheumatology. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email:


Hannah Jethwa, Sonya Abraham. The evidence for microbiome manipulation in inflammatory arthritis. Rheumatology (Oxford, England). 2017 Sep 01;56(9):1452-1460

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PMID: 27789760

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