Celiac’s Tiny Offenders

in Celiac
Published: September 3, 2010

Scientists in Australia are reporting that they’ve found the culprits within gluten that make the protein intolerable to people who have celiac disease.

Dr. Bob Anderson, a gastroenterologist in Melbourne, Australia and his colleagues examined blood samples from more than 200 patients with celiac disease, after they had eaten food containing gluten.

After screening the blood for responses to thousands of protein fragments, called peptides, they found the immune systems of the patients seemed to react negatively only to three of the tiny peptides.

The findings open the door to treatments aimed specifically at these peptides.

In fact, Anderson and his colleagues are busily developing a vaccine that would see patients injected with the peptides, with the intent of slowly building tolerance to gluten.