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Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic autoimmune disease marked by joint inflammation. Although its causes are unknown, mouse studies suggest that gut bacteria may be involved in supporting the immune response underlying inflammation. When scientists led by Dan Littman (New York University School of Medicine, NY) investigated this involvement, they found that a specific gut bacterium called Prevotella copri was associated with newly diagnosed, untreated rheumatoid arthritis in humans.
Lab Anim. (NY) 43, 5 (2014).
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