Industrial yeast impairs gut wound healing
Crohn’s Disease is a type of inflammatory bowel disease (or IBD), where the immune system attacks and inflames bits of the intestines. It can cause diarrhea, pain, fatigue, and consequent disruptions to daily activities like school and work. There are treatments, but currently no cure. Now, scientists in the US have found that a fungus used industrially in foods like wine, cheese and cured meats - called Debaryomyces Hansenii - seems to be thriving in gut wounds in mice, and getting in the way of the wounds healing. And they think a similar thing is happening in the inflamed intestines of the small number of Crohn’s Disease patients they studied.
This hardy yeast can survive extremes of temperature and saltiness, which could maybe explain how it can outcompete the other many microbes in the intestines, and gain a particular foothold in these wounds. Katie Haylor spoke to study author Thaddeus Stappenbeck.