A fungus that is linked to dandruff can worsen intestinal disorders like inflammatory bowel diseases in patients, reveals a new study. In oily skin and scalps, Malassezia restricta is found and is linked to various skin conditions and these fungi can end up being in the gut.
A study published in the journal Cell Host and Microbe has revealed that M, restricta elevated in Crohn’s patients carries a genetic variation known as the IBD CARD9 risk allele.
Crohn’s disease is a type of IBD that cause inflammation in the digestive tract that can lead to abdominal pain, diarrhea, fatigue, weight loss, and malnutrition.
We were surprised to find that Malassezia restrica was more common on intestinal tissue surfaces in Crohn’s disease patients than in healthy people,” said study co-author David Underhill from the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.
“Further, the presence of Malassezia was linked to a common variation in a gene known to be important for immunity to fungi – a genetic signature more common in patients with Crohn’s disease than the healthy population,” Underhill said.
There are most of the studies on microbiome that focus on bacteria but a team has investigated that the fungi’s presence is the most potential in intestinal diseases. IBD is characterized by changes in immune responses to the intestinal microbiome.
Changes in intestinal fungi such as M. restricta – and host responses to these fungi – may be a factor in exacerbating symptoms that contribute to disease in a subset of patients with Crohn’s disease, said co-author Jose Limon, a Cedars-Sinai research team member.