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UT Houston research identifies microbe that could trigger colic in babies

Published in the online edition of the Journal of Pediatrics, a study authored by researchers at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston suspect an organism called Klebsiella, a normally occurring bacterium that can be found in the mouth, skin and intestines as the cause for babies with colic. Colic is defined as unexplained and severe crying in an otherwise healthy newborn

In the study of 36 babies, half of which had colic, researchers found the bacterium and gut inflammation in the intestines of the babies with colic.

“We believe that the bacterium may be sparking an inflammatory reaction, causing the gut inflammation,” said J. Marc Rhoads, M.D., professor of pediatrics and lead investigator for the study. “Inflammation in the gut of colicky infants closely compared to levels in patients with inflammatory bowel disease. Colic could prove to be a precursor to other gastrointestinal conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome, celiac disease and allergic gastroenteropathies.”

Babies in the study were fed breast milk and/or formula. Previous research articles have not shown significant data supporting the theory that breastfeeding protects infants against colic. The babies in the study were recruited from UT Physicians’ pediatric clinics and Kelsey-Seybold clinics.
 
 

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