February 23, 2022
In a new study, researchers found people with lupus have a unique mix of oral bacteria, or “microbiome,” that is correlated with disease activity. The oral microbiome is made up of a collection of more than 700 unique bacterial species, and disturbances in the microbiome have been linked to various inflammatory diseases. The findings from this study suggest that specific oral bacteria found in people with lupus could be used as new, non-invasive lupus biomarkers and may serve as a therapeutic target for exploring new treatment options.
The oral microbiome is a collection of bacteria that affects the progression of health and disease. To assess whether oral bacteria diversity is linked to lupus, researchers compared the characteristics of the oral microbiome in people with lupus against a healthy control group. They collected and examined tongue coating samples from 255 people with lupus and 280 controls. Compared to the people without lupus, people with lupus had significantly more diverse oral bacteria present on their tongues. Furthermore, people with lupus had higher and lower levels of certain types of bacteria that were linked to greater disease activity.
These findings suggest people with lupus have a unique oral microbiome, which could promote new methods of lupus diagnosis and monitoring. While more research is needed to fully understand the relationship between lupus and the oral microbiome, these findings will help guide future studies. Learn more about oral health issues with lupus.
Article Credit: Lupus Foundation of America | lupus.org