DAVIS, Calif., Sept. 16 (UPI) -- U.S. scientists say they've found small bowel transplant patients with an ileostomy have different bacteria inside their gut than do other patients.
Researchers from the University of California-Davis and Georgetown University Medical Center studied bacterial DNA in patients with an ileostomy -- an opening into their small bowel -- and patients with closed ileostomies.
The research team found in ileostomy patients, the gut bacteria were mostly lactobaccilli and enterobacteria -- bacteria that can use oxygen in their metabolism. But in patients whose ileostomies had been closed, the bacterial population was made up mostly of bacteroides and clostridia -- bacteria to which oxygen is toxic.
Patients who receive a small-bowel transplant usually have a small opening, or ileostomy, left to the outside to allow physicians to monitor the transplant for signs of rejection, the scientists said. In their study, the researchers were able to follow changes in the gut bacteria of 17 transplant patients for up to two years by taking periodic samples from the small bowel through the ileostomy opening.
The research team that included graduate student Amber Hartman, UC-Davis Professor Jonathan Eisen and Georgetown Professor Michael Zasloff reports its findings in the online early edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.