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全球自身免疫性疾病病例激增

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据英国《卫报》报道,全球越来越多的人正在承受自身免疫性疾病带来的痛苦。目前,全球自身免疫性疾病病例每年增长3%至9%。科学家认为,快餐饮食等外在因素是导致病患增加的重要原因。有证据表明快餐饮食会影响人体内的微生物群,从而引发自身免疫性疾病。

伦敦弗兰西斯克里克研究所的两位世界专家詹姆斯·李(James Lee)和卡罗拉· 维努埃萨(Carola Vinuesa)已经成立独立研究小组,研究导致自身免疫性疾病的确切原因。


“Numbers of autoimmune cases began to increase about 40 years ago in the west,” Lee told the Observer. “However, we are now seeing some emerge in countries that never had such diseases before.
詹姆斯·李告诉《观察家报》:“大约40年前,西方的自身免疫病例开始增加。然而,我们现在看到一些以前从未出现此类病患的国家出现了这种疾病。”


For example, the biggest recent increase in inflammatory bowel disease cases has been in the Middle East and east Asia. Before that they had hardly seen the disease.”
“例如,近段时间中东和东亚地区的炎性肠病病例增加最多。此前,这些地区几乎没有出现过这种疾病。”


Autoimmune diseases range from type 1 diabetes to rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease and multiple sclerosis. In each case, the immune system gets its wires crossed and turns on healthy tissue instead of infectious agents.
自身免疫性疾病包括1型糖尿病、类风湿性关节炎、炎性肠病和多发性硬化症。上述每种疾病都会使免疫系统出现错乱,攻击自身健康组织而非病原体。


In the UK alone, at least 4 million people have developed such conditions, with some individuals suffering more than one. Internationally, it is now estimated that cases of autoimmune diseases are rising by between 3% and 9% a year. Most scientists believe environmental factors play a key role in this rise.
仅在英国,就有至少400万人患上这类疾病,有些人出现不止一种病症。据估计,目前全球自身免疫性疾病病例每年增长为3%至9%。大多数科学家认为环境因素在其中发挥重要影响。


“Human genetics hasn’t altered over the past few decades,” said Lee, who was previously based at Cambridge University. “So something must be changing in the outside world in a way that is increasing our predisposition to autoimmune disease.”
此前在剑桥大学工作的李称:“人类基因在过去几十年里没有改变,因此,一定是外界发生了某种变化,使我们更容易患上自身免疫性疾病。”


This idea was backed by Vinuesa, who was previously based at the Australian National University. She pointed to changes in diet that were occurring as more and more countries adopted western-style diets and people bought more fast food.
这一想法得到了维努埃萨的支持。曾在澳大利亚国立大学工作的她指出,随着越来越多的国家接受西式饮食,人们购买更多的快餐,饮食正在发生变化。


“Fast-food diets lack certain important ingredients, such as fibre, and evidence suggests this alteration affects a person’s microbiome – the collection of micro-organisms that we have in our gut and which play a key role in controlling various bodily functions,” Vinuesa said.
维努埃萨说:“快餐饮食缺乏某些重要营养成分,如膳食纤维,有证据表明这种饮食改变会影响人体内的微生物群(肠道微生物群),它们对调节身体各方面功能起着关键作用。”


“These changes in our microbiomes are then triggering autoimmune diseases, of which more than 100 types have now been discovered.”
“微生物群的这些变化便会引发自身免疫性疾病,目前已经发现了100多种该类型疾病。”


Both scientists stressed that individual susceptibilities were involved in contracting such illnesses, ailments that also include celiac disease as well as lupus, which triggers inflammation and swelling and can cause damage to various organs, including the heart.
两位科学家都强调,患自身免疫性疾病与个体的易感性有关,如乳糜泻和红斑狼疮等自身免疫疾病。红斑狼疮可引发炎症和肿胀,并可导致心脏等各种器官受损。


“If you don’t have a certain genetic susceptibility, you won’t necessarily get an autoimmune disease, no matter how many Big Macs you eat,” said Vinuesa. “There is not a lot we can do to halt the global spread of fast-food franchises. So instead, we are trying to understand the fundamental genetic mechanisms that underpin autoimmune diseases and make some people susceptible but others not. We want to tackle the issue at that level.”
维努埃萨说:“如果你没有某种遗传易感性,那么无论吃多少巨无霸,都不一定会患上自身免疫性疾病。我们无法阻止快餐连锁店在全球扩张。因此,我们正试图了解导致自身免疫疾病的基本遗传机制,为什么有人易感有人不易感。我们希望在遗传机制上攻克这类疾病。”


This task is possible thanks to the development of techniques that now allow scientists to pinpoint tiny DNA differences among large numbers of individuals. In this way, it is possible to identify common genetic patterns among those suffering from an autoimmune disease.
由于技术的发展,这一目标成为可能。现在,科学家们可以精确定位大量个体之间微小的DNA差异。这样,就有可能在患有自身免疫性疾病的人群中识别出共同的基因模式。


“Until very recently, we just didn’t have the tools to do that, but now we have this incredible power to sequence DNA on a large scale and that has changed everything,” said Lee. “When I started doing research, we knew about half a dozen DNA variants that were involved in triggering inflammatory bowel disease. Now we know of more than 250.”
李称:“之前我们没有办法做到,但现在我们已经有能力来进行大规模DNA测序,这改变了一切。当我开始做研究时,我们发现了约六种DNA变异与引发炎性肠病有关。现在我们发现了250种以上有关的DNA变异。”


Lee also stressed that surging cases of autoimmune diseases across the world meant new treatments and drugs were now urgently needed more than ever before. “At present, there are no cures for autoimmune diseases, which usually develop in young people – while they are trying to complete their education, get their first job and have families,” he said.
李还强调,全球自身免疫性疾病病例的激增意味着现在比以往任何时候都迫切需要新的治疗方法和药物。他说:“目前,在年轻人努力完成学业、找到第一份工作和组建家庭的同时,自身免疫性疾病通常会在他们身上发生,但目前尚无治疗方法。”

来源:卫报

编辑:董静

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