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IBD Southampton research study

Microbiome

Gut bacteria

Your body's bugs

Did you know that your gut is full of tiny microscopic bugs? We're particularly interested in the bacteria that live in your gut and how they may be involved in IBD.

The microbiome

Most people think that all bacteria are bad, but everyone also has friendly bacteria, which help keep you healthy. Together these bacteria make up your microbiome; the grand total of all the bacteria living on and in you.

We're interested in how the microbiome might be involved in IBD. At the moment we think that if you have IBD, your body reacts badly to some of the bacteria in the gut and causes it to become sore and inflamed. What we don’t know is which bacteria they are and what happens to the bacteria when you get better.

Understanding your gut bacteria

We're interested in which bacteria live in poo and on the lining of the gut. To find this out we need your help, by giving us poo samples and tiny samples from your gut.

We take the samples at the same time as an endoscopy (a camera test to look at your gut), when you'll be asleep and so won’t feel anything. We then get all the bacteria from the sample and find out which ones are in there, using high-tech machines and computers.

We hope that if we know which bacteria there are when you’re unwell and which bacteria there are when you’re well, we can understand what is causing IBD and how we can treat it better. In the future we may even be able to treat IBD using friendly bacteria.

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