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Microflora Have Decisive Role With Autoimmune Illnesses, Some Good, Some Bad

When the right microorganisms are at work, immune cells involved in the development of autoimmune illnesses like psoriasis, multiple sclerosis and arthritis, can develop anti-inflammatory properties. Scientists at Charité -- Universitätsmedizin Berlin and the Institute for Research in Biomedicine, Bellinzona, Switzerland, have now made this discovery. The scientists have demonstrated that particular fungi activate the immune cells involved in the development of certain illnesses, whereas other microorganisms, in particular bacteria that are found naturally on our skin, lend an anti-inflammatory function to them.

"This not only demonstrates that the composition of our microflora has a decisive role in the development of chronic illnesses, but also that the key cells causing illness can develop an anti-inflammatory 'twin'," explained Dr. Christina Zielinski, first author of the study.

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