“Immunosenescence, Premature Aging of the Immune System in ME/CFS and the Response to Fecal Microbe Transplantation
Principal Investigator: Katharine Seton, PhD

Katharine Seton, PhD

“Immunosenescence, Premature Aging of the Immune System in ME/CFS and the Response to Fecal Microbe Transplantation
Principal Investigator: Katharine Seton, PhD

Katherine-Seton-2

Katharine Seton, PhD, (Principle Investigator), is a postdoctoral research assistant at the Quadram Institute Bioscience in Norwich, United Kingdom. She is part of Professor Simon Cardings research group. One of her main research interests includes studying how the immune response is altered by gut microbes.

Study Summary

Premature immune ageing could explain immune dysfunction in ME/CFS. Gut microbes may contribute to the chronic activation of the immune system in ME/CFS patients by gaining access to the blood and immune cells because of a leaky gut wall which allows microbes and their products to access internal organs. Disturbances in gut microbe population and an imbalance of “good microbes” versus “bad microbes” that can accompany a leaky gut have been described in ME/CFS patients. Therapies which replenish health promoting gut microbes can restore immune function in the elderly and therefore are an attractive treatment option for ME/CFS. One such therapy is fecal microbe transplantation (FMT) – the transfer of stool microbes from a person with a healthy colon flora to another individual for therapeutic purposes.

A clinical trial will assess the efficacy of FMT in ME/CFS patients and we will have access to trial participants and samples obtained as part of the trial. Using blood samples from trial participants we will investigate premature immune aging in ME/CFS patients and determine whether FMT is able to restore immune function in ME/CFS patients and whether this affects symptoms. This is important both for understanding the role of the immune system in ME/CFS, and to understand a mechanism by which FMT could improve quality of life for people with ME/CFS.

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