DAVIS, Calif., Sept. 18, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Evolve BioSystems, Inc. announced new study results showing that breastfed babies colonized by Bifidobacterium longum subsp. infantis EVC001 (the probiotic bacteria found in Evivo®)displayed significantly less evidence of mucin degradation compared to control infants who did not receive the beneficial Bifidobacterium. This is significant because the loss of mucin, a key component of the intestinal mucus layer, exposes the gut epithelium to potentially damaging interactions with the gut microbiome.
The gastrointestinal tract serves an important role in protecting humans from pathogens, and the mucus layer that lines the walls of the large intestine is an important part of this gut barrier function. Maintaining this protective intestinal environment is key to proper gut health both during infancy, as well as later in life.
Mucin Degradation May Have an Acute Impact on Hospitalized Infants The types of bacteria that live in the gut microbiome can either be protective or destructive to the colonic mucus barrier. In many adult diseases, like ulcerative colitis, loss or disruption of the mucus layer is associated with severe inflammation in the gut. While the long-term effects of mucin breakdown in infants have yet to be determined, there could be immediate acute nutritional consequences. "In vulnerable infants, maintenance of mucin as a first line of defense for gut barrier function is quite important and has a high nutrient requirement," said Dr. Steven Frese, Ph.D., Associate Director of Research and Development for Evolve BioSystems and lead scientist on the study. "Constant degradation of this barrier could be nutritionally detrimental and lead to an increased risk of infection."
The paper, published in FEBS Open Bio, (read the full article at https://febs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/2211-5463.12516) is one of many studies released by Evolve BioSystems in the past year showing the positive impact of activated B. infantis EVC001, on the intestinal health of newborns. The current study found that infants colonized with B. infantis had significantly lower abundance of bacteria that are commonly associated with colonic mucin breakdown, including Bacteroides.
Implications of the Study May Extend into Malnutrition According to Dr. Brian Scottoline, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of pediatrics (neonatology) in the Oregon Health & Science University School of Medicine and OHSU Doernbecher Children's Hospital, who was not involved in the study or associated with Evolve BioSystems, the importance of the study goes beyond just mucus.
"Previous work by this group showed that supplementation with Evivo persistently reduces the expression of pathogen-associated virulence factors in infants," said Dr. Scottoline. "This new publication provides tantalizing evidence that Evivo supplementation is also associated with a significant reduction in the degradation of the protective coat of the gut surface, mucin, by potentially pathogenic members of the gut microbiome. This finding could have important immune-protective and nutritional implications in neonates."
About Evolve BioSystems Evolve BioSystems, Inc. is a privately-held microbiome company dedicated to developing the next generation of products to establish, restore, and maintain a healthy gut microbiome. Evolve recently completed a $40M Series C round of funding co-led by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Horizons Ventures, the venture division of the Li Ka Shing Foundation. Evolve is a spin-out from the Foods for Health Institute (FFHI) at the University of California, Davis and builds on more than a decade of research into understanding the unique partnership of the infant gut microbiome and breast milk components. Having led to the development and commercial launch of products to resolve newborn gut dysbiosis, including Evivo® for infants, Evolve's discovery platform is now being applied to solving gut dysbiosis throughout the human life cycle as well. In addition to the landmark proof-of-concept trial, Evolve is undertaking further clinical studies to build out its suite of microbiome-based solutions.