Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic autoimmune disease that is associated with aberrant immune responses. In a recent analysis published in Arthritis & Rheumatology, people at risk for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and those with the disease had elevated blood levels of antibodies against a bacterial protein that’s normally found in the body.
The study compared 98 participants with established RA who were compared with 98 controls without the condition, as well as 67 participants at high risk for RA who were compared with 67 controls. Compared with controls, both the individuals with RA and at-risk individuals had higher blood levels of antibodies against a protein expressed by Prevotella copri, a bacterial strain typically found in the gut.
The authors noted that additional research into the roles of this and other microorganisms in rheumatoid arthritis is warranted.
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