Are microbes in the gut and skin responsible for psoriatic arthritis?
Lead applicant - Dr Julian Marchesi
Organisation - Imperial College London
Type of grant - Special Strategic Award
Status of grant - Active
Amount of the original award - £448,506
Start date - 1 October 2016
Reference - 21228
What are the aims of this research?
This research aims to investigate whether microbes found in the gut and on the skin are different in people with psoriatic arthritis compared to healthy individuals.
Why is this research important?
Microbes are small organisms including bacteria and fungi that live on and in our bodies and are collectively called the microbiome. Research has shown that the types of microbes found in the gut are different in people with psoriatic arthritis compared to healthy individuals. It is not known whether these differences are responsible for the development of psoriatic arthritis, or whether they occur as a result of the condition.
A wide range of samples collected from people with psoriatic arthritis will be tested to identify the different types of microbes they contain, as well as the biological molecules and chemicals produced by these microbes. This information will then be used to determine the most commonly found microbes and chemicals in people with psoriatic arthritis. The research team hope to use this information to predict which molecules and microbes are important in psoriatic arthritis and how they may be involved in triggering the development of this condition.
How will the findings benefit patients?
Identifying the commonly found microbial chemicals seen in people with psoriatic arthritis may enable scientists to develop an easy diagnostic test for this condition, which could also be used to predict how severe the condition will become.
In addition, by shedding light on how microbes may be triggering the development of psoriatic arthritis, scientists will be able to investigate whether changing the microbes in the gut and on the skin can improve the symptoms of the condition, which may lead to the development of new treatments.