Microbial exopolysaccharides for prevention and treatment of inflammatory disease
Inflammation is a healthy biological response which serves to remove harmful irritants and promote healing. However, abnormal inflammation may lead to pain, suffering, and disease, including digestive disease and autoimmune disease (e.g. multiple sclerosis). Exopolysaccharides (EPS) are polymers made up of sugars residues and are secreted by bacteria. The present invention involves administration of bacterial EPS to prevent and protect against inflammatory disease. Using animal models, the inventors have found that administration of Bacillus subtilis EPS formulations prevent intestinal inflammation. In addition, these formulations prevent development of a multiple sclerosis-like disease in mice. Thus, Bacillus subtilis EPS could be used as a therapeutic or serve as a prophylactic for inflammatory disorders, and thereby improve the quality of life for individuals with these diseases.