Christensenella

Unique Gut Bacteria with Deep Therapeutic Benefit Potential

Christensenella is a particularly promising keystone gut bacteria and YSOPIA is the first biotech company to harness its tremendous therapeutic potential.

Since its discovery in 2012, an increasing body of evidence have shown that Christensenellaceae family plays a major role in the development of a healthy gut microbiome and is missing in many chronic diseases patients.

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“The Christensenellaceae, a recently described family in the phylum Firmicutes, is emerging as an important player in human health.

The relative abundance of Christensenellaceae in the human gut is inversely related to host body mass index (BMI) in different populations and multiple studies, making its relationship with BMI the most robust and reproducible link between the microbial ecology of the human gut and metabolic disease reported to date.

The family is also related to a healthy status in a number of other different disease contexts, including obesity and inflammatory bowel disease. In addition, Christensenellaceae is highly heritable across multiple populations, although specific human genes underlying its heritability have so far been elusive.

Further research into the microbial ecology and metabolism of these bacteria should reveal mechanistic underpinnings of their host-health associations and enable their development as therapeutics.”

Waters et al., The human gut bacteria Christensenellaceae are widespread, heritable, and associated with health, 2019, BMC Biology

Missing Keystone in Many Chronic Diseases

Christensenella bears high potential to be a source of innovative treatments for multiple chronic diseases.

Christensenella minuta was discovered by Prof. Masami Morotomi (Yakult Central Institute for Microbiological Research, Japan) who isolated the small micro-organism from a healthy human donor. Since then, numerous studies worldwide have shown that christensenella is the missing keystone bacteria in obese individuals.

In 2014, it was identified as the most heritable bacterial taxon in humans and was found to be significantly reduced in obese European individuals (Goodrich et al. 2014).

These observations were rapidly confirmed in an independent study in 2015 (Fu et al. 2015). In addition, high levels of C. minuta in the 2015 cohort were associated with reduced circulating levels of triglycerides and higher HDL cholesterol (also known as “good” cholesterol).

This association was recently validated in a large Dutch cohort of more than 2000 people where Christensenellaceae were consistently associated with low VLDL (“bad cholesterol”), high HDL (“good cholesterol”) and low serum triglycerides (Vojinovic et al. 2019).

Disappearance of Christensenella minuta bacteria has also been associated with other conditions such as Inflammatory Bowel Disease, both with Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis (Pascal et al. 2017, Kummen et al. 2017, Zakrzewski et al. 2018), Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis (Kummen et al. 2017) and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (Pozuelo et al. 2015). 

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