Novel bioengineered probiotics increase colonization and persistence in the gut enhancing bioavailability and their therapeutic potential for inflammatory bowel disease

Principal Investigator: 
University: 
University of British Columbia
Department: 
Department of Biology

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a major global health burden and the rapid surge in pediatric cases in Canada over the past decade is raising alarm bells. Current pharmaceutical therapies are risky or ineffective, cost and health-wise, especially for long-term use and are associated with severe side effects. Therefore, new alternative therapies for IBD are needed urgently. Probiotic therapy, which is the ingestion of non-pathogenic microorganisms to provide health benefits, is considered a potential treatment option. However, clinical trials using probiotics for IBD treatment have yielded very inconsistent and difficult to interpret data.

Specific to IBD, the gut environment is highly inflamed and oxidized; these properties may interfere with the growth and therefore beneficial effects of probiotics. As such, current probiotics are ineffective at persisting in the hostile gut of IBD patients. A novel therapeutic approach is to engineer designer probiotics that strategically target these limitations. The present invention relates to bioavailable and optimized genetically-engineered recombinant probiotic bacteria with enhanced therapeutic potential, for use in treating IBD.

Here we propose that our novel patented next generation microtechnology is an alternative to traditional probiotics to enhance bioavailability and is a potential alternative therapeutic option for IBD. This proposal aims to test how the designer probiotics enrich gut health in pre-clinical
models.

Host Institution: 
University of British Columbia
Research Location: 
University of British Columbia - Okanagan Campus
Year: 
2019