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Many studies have reported changes in gut microbiome composition in patients with inflammatory bowel disease, including ulcerative colitis, when compared with healthy individuals. While that clearly raises the question about the key role played by gut microbes in IBD pathogenesis, we have yet to pinpoint the causative microbes and their mechanisms.

Despite the fact that current guidelines for managing inflammatory bowel diseases do not devote attention to diet as a central element of treatment, there is an increasing amount of evidence that supports the role of diet in patients with IBD. A new nationwide cohort study shows the association between the level of inflammatory potential in diet and risk of Crohn’s disease.

A recent randomised placebo-controlled trial, led by Prof. Thomas Borody from the Centre for Digestive Diseases in Sydney (Australia), has found that faecal microbiota transplantation induces clinical remission and endoscopic improvement in patients with active ulcerative colitis.

Fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) for patients with ulcerative colitis (UC) has shown mixed clinical results (see recent trials here and here). In a new pilot study, published as open access, Faming Zhang and colleagues tested the safety and efficacy of a "step-up" FMT strategy in 15 steroid-dependent UC patients.