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Bacteria linked to rheumatoid arthritis, other autoimmune diseases

from ACR

Researchers are using 21st-century technologies to investigate the century-old hypothesis that certain autoimmune diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis, are caused by bacteria living in the human body and presented their initial data at the American College of Rheumatology Annual Scientific Meeting in Atlanta. Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic disease that causes pain, stiffness, swelling, and limitation in the motion and function of multiple joints. Although joints are the principal body parts affected by RA, inflammation can develop in other organs as well. Researchers have long associated periodontal disease and bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract with RA, although no specific bacteria ever have been identified by researchers as the bacteria to target as possible therapy. Nevertheless, studies have suggested that bacteria or bacterial products contribute to RA and other autoimmune diseases. more

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