In humans, over one hundred trillion microorganisms, mainly bacteria, colonize the oral-gastrointestinal tract, and the vast majority of these reside in the distal gut and was termed microbiota. The most important microbiota's contributions for the host include carbohydrates digestion and fermentation, vitamin production, mucosal-associated lymphoid tissues development, immune responses polarization and prevent pathogens colonization. However, when this mutualistic relationship between host and microbiota is interrupted, the intestinal microbiota may cause or contribute to the development of infectious diseases, inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. Therefore, the aim of this study is to characterize the intestinal microbiota isolated from faces from MS patients and correlate this data with inflammatory Th17 cytokines. Patients and controls will sign the informed consent and answer a socio-epidemiological questionnaire. Fecal samples are collected by own individuals or families in universal collectors. Clinical data such as disease form, EDSS, presence/absence of active lesions and treatment will be recorded. Bacterial DNA is extracted by using commercial kit and the microbiota characterization will be performed by real-time PCR. The quantification of Th17 cytokines, such as IL-17 and IL-22, will be done by ELISA assays. The results of the intestinal microbiota of patients and controls will be analyzed by using Mann-Whitney t test and correlations of microbiota results with clinical and socio-epidemiological datas will be assessed by Spearmans' test. We expect to find differences in the composition of the intestinal microbiota of patients with MS compared with healthy subjects and possible correlations with clinical data. Additional studies are necessary, and possibly the prevention of MS in the future, involve interventions directed to the modulation of the intestinal microbiota as a way to control autoimmunity in genetically predisposed individuals.
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