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Title:  Methods of diagnosing irritable bowel syndrome and other disorders caused by small intestinal bacterial overgrowth

United States Patent:  6,805,852

Issued:  October 19, 2004

Inventors:  Lin; Henry C. (Manhattan Beach, CA); Pimentel; Mark (Los Angeles, CA)

Assignee:  Cedars-Sinai Medical Center (Los Angeles, CA)

Appl. No.:  107240

Filed:  March 26, 2002

Abstract

Disclosed is a method of diagnosing irritable bowel syndrome, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, depression, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, autoimmune diseases, such as multiple sclerosis and systemic lupus erythematosus, or Crohn's disease, which involves detecting the presence of small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) in a human subject having at least one symptom associated with a suspected diagnosis of any of those diagnostic categories. Also disclosed is a method of treating these disorders, and other disorders caused by SIBO, that involves at least partially eradicating a SIBO condition in the human subject. The method includes administration of anti-microbial or probiotic agents, or normalizing intestinal motility by employing a prokinetic agent. The method improves symptoms, including hyperalgesia related to SIBO and disorders caused by SIBO. Also disclosed is a kit for the diagnosis or treatment of irritable bowel syndrome, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, depression, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, autoimmune diseases, or Crohn's disease.

Description of the Invention

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Throughout this application various publications are referenced within parentheses. The disclosures of these publications in their entireties are hereby incorporated by reference in this application in order to more fully describe the state of the art to which this invention pertains.

1. The Field of the Invention

This invention relates to the medical arts. It relates to a method of diagnosing and treating irritable bowel syndrome and other disorders, such as Crohn's disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, depression, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, multiple sclerosis, systemic lupus erythematosus and other autoimmune diseases in a human subject.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to the diagnosis or treatment of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS); fibromyalgia (FM); chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS); depression; attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD); multiple sclerosis (MS), systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and other autoimmune diseases; and Crohn's disease (CD). Specifically, the present methods are based on the detection and treatment of a unified cause for all of them, i.e., small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO).

The method of diagnosing irritable bowel syndrome, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, depression, ADHD, autoimmune diseases, or Crohn's disease involves detecting the presence of small intestinal bacterial overgrowth in a human subject having at least one symptom associated with a suspected diagnosis of any of those diagnostic categories.

The present invention also relates to a method of treatment for irritable bowel syndrome, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, depression, ADHD, autoimmune diseases, or Crohn's disease involving a therapeutic regime to at least partially eradicate small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. This therapy regime can include treatment with anti-microbial agents or other therapeutic approaches to at least partially eradicating bacterial overgrowth, e.g., lavage, probiotic techniques, or by normalizing or increasing intestinal phase III interdigestive motility with, for example, administration of a modified diet or a chemical prokinetic agent. The method improves symptoms, including hyperalgesia related to SIBO and disorders caused by SIBO, such as irritable bowel syndrome, fibromyalgia, and Crohn's disease.

The present invention also relates to kits for the diagnosis and treatment of irritable bowel syndrome, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, depression. ADHD, autoimmune diseases, or Crohn's disease.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

The present invention relates to method of diagnosing irritable bowel syndrome, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, depression, ADHD, an autoimmune disease, such as multiple sclerosis or systemic lupus erythematosus, or Crohn's disease. The method involves detecting the presence of small intestinal bacterial overgrowth in a human subject who has at least one symptom associated with a suspected diagnosis of any one of these diagnostic categories.

In accordance with the method, the detection of SIBO in the human subject corroborates the suspected diagnosis held by a qualified medical practitioner who, prior to the detection of SIBO in the human subject, suspects from more limited clinical evidence that the human subject has irritable bowel syndrome, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome. depression, ADHD, an autoimmune disease, or Crohn's disease. By applying the present diagnostic method the suspected diagnosis is corroborated, i.e., confirmed, sustained, substantiated, supported, evidenced, strengthened, affirmed or made more firm.

The skilled medical practitioner is aware of suitable up-to-date diagnostic criteria by which a suspected diagnosis is reached. These diagnostic criteria are based on a presentation of symptom(s) by a human subject. For example, these criteria include, but are not limited to, the Rome criteria for IBS (W. G. Thompson, Irritable bowel syndrome: pathogenesis and management, Lancet 341:1569-72 [1993]) and the criteria for CFS established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (K. Fukuda et al., The chronic fatigue syndrome: a comprehensive approach to its definition and study, Ann. Intem. Med. 121:953-59 [1994]). The diagnostic criteria for fibromyalgia of the American College of Rheumatology will also be familiar (F. Wolfe et al., The American College of Rheumatology 1990 Criteria for the Classification of Fibromyalgia: Report of the Multicenter Criteria Committee, Arthritis Rheum. 33:160-72 [1990]), as will be the criteria for depression or ADHD provided for example, by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM)-IV or its current version. (E.g., G. Tripp et al., DSM-IV and ICD-10: a comparison of the correlates of ADHD and hyperkinetic disorder, J. Am. Acad. Child Adolesc. Psychiatry 38(2):156-64 [1999]). Symptoms of systemic lupus erythematosus include the 11 revised criteria of the American College of Rheumatology, such as a typical malar or discoid rash, photosensitivity, oral ulcers, arthritis, serositis, or disorders of blood, kidney or nervous system. (E. M Tan et al., The 1982 revised criteria for the classification of systemic lupus erythematosus [SLE], Arthritis Rheum. 25:1271-77 [1982]). Appropriate diagnostic criteria for multiple sclerosis are also familiar (e.g., L. A. Rolak, The diagnosis of multiple sclerosis, Neuronal Clin. 14(1):27-43 [1996]), as are symptoms of Crohn's disease useful in reaching a suspected diagnosis. (e.g., J. M. Bozdech and R. G. Farmer, Diagnosis of Crohn's disease, Hepatogastroenterol. 37(1):8-17 [1990]; M. Tanaka and R. H. Riddell, The pathological diagnosis and differential diagnosis of Crohn's disease, Hepatogastroenterol. 37(1):18-31 [1990]; A. B. Price and B. C. Morson, Inflammatory bowel disease: the surgical pathology of Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, Hum. Pathol. 6(1):7-29 [1975]). The practitioner is, of course not limited to these illustrative examples for diagnostic criteria, but should use criteria that are current.

Detecting the presence of small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (i.e., SIBO) is accomplished by any suitable method. For example, one preferred method of detecting SIBO is breath hydrogen testing. (E.g., P. Kerlin and L. Wong, Breath hydrogen testing in bacterial overgrowth of the small intestine, Gastroenterol. 95(4):982-88 [1988]; A. Strocchi et al., Detection of malabsorption of low doses of carbohydrate: accuracy of various breath H2 criteria, Gastroenterol. 105(5):1404-1410 [1993]; D. de Boissieu et al., [1996]; P. J. Lewindon et al., Bowel dysfunction in cystic fibrosis: importance of breath testing, J. Paedatr. Child Health 34(1):79-82 [1998]). Breath hydrogen or breath methane tests are based on the fact that many obligately or facultatively fermentative bacteria found in the gastrointestinal tract produce detectable quantities of hydrogen or methane gas as fermentation products from a substrate consumed by the host, under certain circumstances. Substrates include sugars such as lactulose, xylose, lactose, or glucose. The hydrogen or methane produced in the small intestine then enters the blood stream of the host and are gradually exhaled.

Typically, after an overnight fast, the patient swallows a controlled quantity of a sugar, such as lactulose, xylose, lactose, or glucose, and breath samples are taken at frequent time intervals, typically every 10 to 15 minutes for a two- to four-hour period. Samples are analyzed by gas chromatography or by other suitable techniques, singly or in combination. Plots of breath hydrogen in patients with SIBO typically show a double peak, i.e., a smaller early hydrogen peak followed by a larger hydrogen peak, but a single hydrogen peak is also a useful indicator of SIBO, if peak breath hydrogen exceeds the normal range of hydrogen for a particular testing protocol. (See, G. Mastropaolo and W. D. Rees, Evaluation of the hydrogen breath test in man: definition and elimination of the early hydrogen peak, Gut 28(6):721-25 [1987]).

A variable fraction of the population fails to exhale appreciable hydrogen gas during intestinal fermentation of lactulose; the intestinal microflora of these individuals instead produce more methane. (G. Corazza et al., Prevalence and consistency of low breath H2 excretion following lactulose ingestion. Possible implications for the clinical use of the H2 breath test, Dig. Dis. Sci. 38(11):2010-16 [1993]; S. M. Riordan et al., The lactulose breath hydrogen test and small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, Am. J. Gastroentrol. 91(9); 1795-1803 [1996]). Consequently, in the event of an initial negative result for breath hydrogen, or as a precaution, methane and/or carbon dioxide contents in each breath sample are optionally measured, as well as hydrogen, or a substrate other than lactulose is optionally used. Also, acting as a check, the presence of SIBO is demonstrated by a relative decrease in peak hydrogen exhalation values for an individual subject after antimicrobial treatment, in accordance with the present invention, compared to pretreatment values.

Another preferred method of detecting bacterial overgrowth is by gas chromatography with mass spectrometry and/or radiation detection to measure breath emissions of isotope-labeled carbon dioxide, methane, or hydrogen, after administering an isotope-labeled substrate that is metabolizable by gastrointestinal bacteria but poorly digestible by the human host, such as lactulose, xylose, mannitol, or urea. (E.g., G. R. Swart and J. W. van den Berg, 13 C breath test in gastrointestinal practice, Scand. J. Gastroenterol. [Suppl.] 225:13-18 [1998]; S. F. Dellert et al., The 13C-xylose breath test for the diagnosis of small bowel bacterial overgrowth in children, J. Pediatr. Gastroenterol. Nutr. 25(2):153-58 [1997]; C. E. King and P. P. Toskes, Breath tests in the diagnosis of small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, Crit. Rev. Lab. Sci. 21(3):269-81 [1984]). A poorly digestible substrate is one for which there is a relative or absolute lack of capacity in a human for absorption thereof or for enzymatic degradation or catabolism thereof.

Suitable isotopic labels include 13 C or 14 C. For measuring methane or carbon dioxide, suitable isotopic labels can also include 2 H and 3 H or 17 O and 18 O, as long as the substrate is synthesized with the isotopic label placed in a metabolically suitable location in the structure of the substrate, i.e., a location where enzymatic biodegradation by intestinal microflora results in the isotopic label being sequestered in the gaseous product. If the isotopic label selected is a radioisotope, such as 14 C, 3 H, or 15 O, breath samples can be analyzed by gas chromatography with suitable radiation detection means. (E.g., C. S. Chang et al., Increased accuracy of the carbon-14 D-xylose breath test in detecting small-intestinal bacterial overgrowth by correction with the gastric emptying rate, Eur. J. Nucl. Med. 22(10):1118-22 [1995]; C. E. King and P. P. Toskes, Comparison of the 1-gram [14 C]xylose, 10-gram lactulose-H2, and 80-gram glucose-H2 breath tests in patients with small intestine bacterial overgrowth, Gastroenterol. 91(6):1447-51 [1986]; A. Schneider et al., Value of the 14 C-D-xylose breath test in patients with intestinal bacterial overgrowth, Digestion 32(2):86-91 [1985]).

Another preferred method of detecting small intestinal bacterial overgrowth is direct intestinal sampling from the human subject. Direct sampling is done by intubation followed by scrape, biopsy, or aspiration of the contents of the intestinal lumen, including the lumen of the duodenum, jejunum, or ileum. The sampling is of any of the contents of the intestinal lumen including material of a cellular, fluid, fecal, or gaseous nature, or sampling is of the lumenal wall itself. Analysis of the sample to detect bacterial overgrowth is by conventional microbiological techniques including microscopy, culturing, and/or cell numeration techniques.

Another preferred method of detecting small intestinal bacterial overgrowth is by endoscopic visual inspection of the wall of the duodenum, jejunum, and/or ileum.

The preceding are merely illustrative and non-exhaustive examples of methods for detecting small intestinal bacterial overgrowth.

The present invention also relates to a method of treating irritable bowel syndrome, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, depression, ADHD, an autoimmune disease, or Crohn's disease. The treatment method involves detecting the presence of small intestinal bacterial overgrowth in a human subject, in accordance with the diagnostic method described above, and at least partially eradicating the bacterial overgrowth. After the SIBO condition is at least partially eradicated, typically within a couple of weeks, there is an improvement in the symptom(s) of irritable bowel syndrome, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, depression, ADHD, an autoimmune disease, or Crohn's disease. It is a benefit of the present treatment method that after treatment, subjects routinely report feeling better than they have felt in years.

At least partially eradicating the bacterial overgrowth is accomplished by any suitable method. Most preferably, at least partially eradicating the bacterial overgrowth is accomplished by administering an antimicrobial agent, including but not limited to a natural, synthetic, or semi-synthetic antibiotic agent. For example, a course of antibiotics such as, but not limited to, neomycin, metronidazole, teicoplanin, doxycycline, tetracycline, ciprofloxacin, augmentin, cephalexin (e.g., Keflex), penicillin, ampicillin, kanamycin, rifamycin, rifaximin, or vancomycin, which may be administered orally, intravenously, or rectally. (R. K. Cleary [1998]; C. P. Kelly and J. T. LaMont, Clostridium difficile infection, Annu. Rev. Med. 49:375-90 [1998]; C. M. Reinke and C. R. Messick, Update on Clostridium difficile-induced colitis, Part 2, Am. J. Hosp. Pharm. 51(15):1892-1901 [1994]).

Alternatively, an antimicrobial chemotherapeutic agent, such as a 4- or 5-aminosalicylate compound is used to at least partially eradicate the SIBO condition. These can be formulated for ingestive, colonic, or topical non-systemic delivery systems or for any systemic delivery systems. Commercially available preparations include 4-(p)-aminosalicylic acid (i.e., 4-ASA or para-aminosalicylic acid) or 4-(p)-aminosalicylate sodium salt (e.g., Nemasol-Sodium.RTM. or Tubasal.RTM.). 5-Aminosalicylates have antimicrobial, as well as anti-inflammatory properties (H. Lin and M. Pimentel, Abstract G3452 at Digestive Disease Week, 100th Annual Meeting of the AGA, Orlando, Fla. [1999]), in useful preparations including 5-aminosalicylic acid (i.e., 5-ASA, mesalamine, or mesalazine) and conjugated derivatives thereof, available in various pharmaceutical preparations such as Asacol.RTM., Rowasa.RTM., Claversal.RTM., Pentasa.RTM., Salofalk.RTM., Dipentum.RTM. (olsalazine), Azulfidine.RTM. (SAZ; sulphasalazine), ipsalazine, salicylazobenzoic acid, balsalazide, or conjugated bile acids, such as ursodeoxycholic acid-5-aminosalicylic acid, and others.

Another preferred method of at least partially eradicating small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, particularly useful when a subject does not respond well to oral or intravenous antibiotics or other antimicrobial agents alone, is administering an intestinal lavage or enema, for example, small bowel irrigation with a balanced hypertonic electrolyte solution, such as Go-lytely or fleet phosphosoda preparations. The lavage or enema solution is optionally combined with one or more antibiotic(s) or other antimicrobial agent(s). (E.g., J. A. Vanderhoof et al., Treatment strategies for small bowel bacterial overgrowth in short bowel syndrome, J. Pediatr. Gastroenterol. Nutr. 27(2):155-60 [1998])

Another preferred method of at least partially eradicating small intestinal bacterial overgrowth employs a probiotic agent, for example, an inoculum of a lactic acid bacterium or bifidobacterium. (A. S. Naidu et al., Probiotic spectra of lactic acid bacteria, Crit. Rev. Food Sci. Nutr. 39(1):13-126 [1999]; J. A. Vanderhoof et al. [1998]; G. W. Tannock, Probiotic propertyies of lactic acid bacteria: plenty of scope for R & D, Trends Biotechnol. 15(7):270-74 [1997]; S. Salminen et al., Clinical uses of probiotics for stabilizing the gut mucosal barrier: successful strains and future challenges, Antonie Van Leeuwenhoek 70(2-4):347-58 [1997]). The inoculum is delivered in a pharmaceutically acceptable ingestible formulation, such as in a capsule, or for some subjects, consuming a food supplemented with the inoculum is effective, for example a milk, yoghurt, cheese, meat or other fermentable food preparation. Useful probiotic agents include Bifidobacterium sp. or Lactobacillus species or strains, e.g., L. acidophilus, L. rhamnosus, L. plantarum, L. reuteri, L. paracasei subsp. paracasei, or L. casei Shirota, (P. Kontula et al., The effect of lactose derivatives on intestinal lactic acid bacteria, J. Dairy Sci. 82(2):249-56 [1999]; M. Alander et al., The effect of probiotic strains on the microbiota of the Simulator of the Human Intestinal Microbial Ecosystem (SHIME), Int. J. Food Microbiol. 46(1):71-79 [1999]; S. Spanhaak et al., The effect of consumption of milk fermented by Lactobacillus casei strain Shirota on the intestinal microflora and immune parameters in humans, Eur. J. Clin. Nutr. 52(12):899-907 [1998]; W. P. Charteris et al., Antibiotic susceptibility of potentially probiotic Lactobacillus species, J. Food Prot. 61(12): 1636-43 [1998]; B. W. Wolf et al., Safety and tolerance of Lactobacillus reuteri supplementation to a population infected with the human immunodeficiency virus, Food Chem. Toxicol. 36(12):1085-94 [1998]; G. Gardiner et al., Development of a probiotic cheddar cheese containing human-derived Lactobacillus paracasei strains, Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 64(6):2192-99 [1998]; T. Sameshima et al., Effect of intestinal Lactobacillus starter cultures on the behaviour of Staphylococcus aureus in fermented sausage, Int. J. Food Microbiol. 41(1):1-7 [1998]).

Optionally, after at least partial eradication of small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, use of antimicrobial agents or probiotic agents can be continued to prevent further development or relapse of SIBO.

Another preferred method of at least partially eradicating small intestinal bacterial overgrowth is by normalizing or increasing phase III interdigestive intestinal motility with any of several modalities to at least partially eradicate the bacterial overgrowth, for example, by suitably modifying the subject's diet to increase small intestinal motility to a normal level (e.g., by increasing dietary fiber), or by administration of a chemical prokinetic agent to the subject, including bile acid replacement therapy when this is indicated by low or otherwise deficient bile acid production in the subject.

For purposes of the present invention, a prokinetic agent is any chemical that causes an increase in phase III interdigestive motility of a human subject's intestinal tract. Increasing intestinal motility, for example, by administration of a chemical prokinetic agent, prevents relapse of the SIBO condition, which otherwise typically recurs within about two months, due to continuing intestinal dysmotility. The prokinetic agent causes an in increase in phase III interdigestive motility of the human subject's intestinal tract, thus preventing a recurrence of the bacterial overgrowth. Continued administration of a prokinetic agent to enhance a subject's phase III interdigestive motility can extend for an indefinite period as needed to prevent relapse of the SIBO condition.

Preferably, the prokinetic agent is a known prokinetic peptide, such as motilin, or functional analog thereof, such as a macrolide compound, for example, erythromycin (50 mg/day to 2000 mg/day in divided doses orally or I.V. in divided doses), or azithromycin (250-1000 mg/day orally).

However, a bile acid, or a bile salt derived therefrom, is another preferred prokinetic agent for inducing or increasing phase III interdigestive motility. (E. P. DiMagno, Regulation of interdigestive gastrointestinal motility and secretion, Digestion 58 Suppl. 1:53-55 [1997]; V. B. Nieuwenhuijs et al, Disrupted bile flow affects interdigestive small bowel motility in rats, Surgery 122(3):600-08 [1997]; P. M. Hellstrom et al., Role of bile in regulation of gut motility, J. Intern. Med. 237(4):395-402 [1995]; V. Plourde et al., Interdigestive intestinal motility in dogs with chronic exclusion of bile from the digestive tract, Can. J. Physiol. Pharmacol. 65(12):2493-96 [1987]). Useful bile acids include ursodeoxycholic acid and chenodeoxycholic acid; useful bile salts include sodium or potassium salts of ursodeoxycholate or chenodeoxycholate, or derivatives thereof.

A compound with cholinergic activity, such as cisapride (i.e., Propulsid.RTM.; 1 to 20 mg, one to four times per day orally or I.V.), is also preferred as a prokinetic agent for inducing or increasing phase III interdigestive motility. Cisapride is particularly effective in alleviating or improving hyperalgesia related to SIBO or associated with disorders caused by SIBO, such as IBS, fibromyalgia, or Crohn's disease.

A dopamine antagonist, such as metoclopramide (1-10 mg four to six times per day orally or I.V.), domperidone (10 mg, one to four times per day orally), or bethanechol (5 mg/day to 50 mg every 3-4 hours orally; 5-10 mg four times daily subcutaneously), is another preferred prokinetic agent for inducing or increasing phase III interdigestive motility. Dopamine antagonists, such as domperidone, are particularly effective in alleviating or improving hyperalgesia related to SIBO or associated with disorders caused by SIBO, such as IBS, fibromyalgia, or Crohn's disease.

Also preferred is a nitric oxide altering agent, such as nitroglycerin,, nomega-nitro-L-arginine methylester (L-NAME), N-monomethyl-L-arginine (L-NMMA), or a 5-hydroxytryptamine (HT or serotonin) receptor antagonist, such as ondansetron (2-4 mg up to every 4-8 hours I.V.; pediatric 0.1 mg/kg/day) or alosetron. The 5-HT receptor antagonists, such as ondansetron and alosetron, are particularly effective in improving hyperalgesia related to SIBO, or associated with disorders caused by SIBO, such as IBS, fibromyalgia, or Crohn's disease.

An antihistamine, such as promethazine (oral or I.V. 12.5 mg/day to 25 mg every four hours orally or I.V.), meclizine (oral 50 mg/day to 100 mg four times per day), or other antihistamines, except ranitidine (Zantac), famotidine, and nizatidine, are also preferred as prokinetic agents for inducing or increasing phase III interdigestive motility.

Also preferred are neuroleptic agents, including prochlorperazine (2.5 mg/day to 10 mg every three hours orally; 25 mg twice daily rectally; 5 mg/day to 10 mg every three hours, not to exceed 240 mg/day intramuscularly; 2.5 mg/day to 10 mg every four hours I.V.), chlorpromazine (0.25 mg/lb. up to every four hours [5-400 mg/day] orally; 0.5 mg/lb. up to every 6 hours rectally; intramuscular 0.25 /lb. every six hours, not to exceed 75 /mg/day), or haloperidol (oral 5-10 mg/day orally; 0.5-10 mg/day I.V.). Also useful as a prokinetic agent, for purposes of the present invention, is a kappa agonist, such as fedotozine (1-30 mg/day), but not excluding other opiate agonists. The opiate (opioid) agonists, such as fedotozine, are particularly effective in alleviating or improving hyperalgesia related to SIBO or associated with disorders caused by SIBO, such as IBS, fibromyalgia, or Crohn's disease.

The preceding are merely illustrative of the suitable means by which small intestinal bacterial overgrowth is at least partially eradicated by treatment in accordance with the present method. These means can be used separately, or in combination, by the practitioner as suits the needs of an individual human subject.

Optionally, treating further includes administering to the human subject an anti-inflammatory cytokine or an agonist thereof, substantially simultaneously with or after at least partially eradicating the bacterial overgrowth of the small intestine, to accelerate or further improve the symptom(s) of irritable bowel syndrome, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, depression, ADHD, or an autoimmune disease, or Crohn's disease. Useful anti-inflammatory cytokines include human IL-4, IL-10, IL-11, or TGF-.beta., derived from a human source or a transgenic non-human source expressing a human gene. The anti-inflammatory cytokine is preferably injected or infused intravenously or subcutaneously.

Optionally, when the suspected diagnosis is irritable bowel syndrome, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, depression, ADHD, or an autoimmune disease, such as multiple sclerosis or systemic lupus erythematosus, symptoms are improved by administering an antagonist of a pro-inflammatory cytokine or an antibody that specifically binds a pro-inflammatory cytokine. The antagonist or antibody is administered to the human subject substantially simultaneously with or after treatment to at least partially eradicate the bacterial overgrowth. The antagonist or antibody is one that binds to a pro-inflammatory cytokine or antogonizes the activity or receptor binding of a pro-inflammatory cytokine. Pro-inflammatory cytokines include TNF-.alpha., IL-1.alpha., IL-1.beta., IL6, IL-8, IL-12, or LIF. The cytokine antagonist or antibody is preferably derived from a human source or is a chimeric protein having a human protein constituent. The cytokine antagonist or antibody is preferably delivered to the human subject by intravenous infusion.

Optionally, the method of treating irritable bowel syndrome, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, depression, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, an autoimmune disease, or Crohn's disease, further comprises administering an agent that modifies afferent neural feedback or sensory perception. This is particularly useful when, after at least partial eradication of SIBO, the subject experiences residual symptoms of hyperalgesia related to SIBO or associated with a disorder caused by SIBO, such as IBS, fibromyalgia, or Crohn's disease. Agents that modify afferent neural feedback or sensory perception include 5-HT receptor antagonists, such as ondansetron and alosetron; opiate agonists, such as fedotozine; peppermint oil; cisapride; a dopamine antagonist, such as domperidone; an antidepressant agent; an anxiolytic agent; or a combination of any of these. Useful antidepressant agents include tricyclic antidepressants, such as amitriptyline (Elavil); tetracyclic antidepressants, such as maprotiline; serotonin re-uptake inhibitors, such as fluoxetine (Prozac) or sertraline (Zoloft); monoamine oxidase inhibitors, such as phenelzine; and miscellaneous antidepressants, such as trazodone, venlafaxine, mirtazapine, nefazodone, or bupropion (Wellbutrin). Typically, useful antidepressant agents are available in hydrochloride, sulfated, or other conjugated forms, and all of these conjugated forms are included among the useful antidepressant agents. Useful anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) agents include benzodiazepine compounds, such as Librium, Atavin, Xanax, Valium, Tranxene, and Serax, or other anxiolytic agents such as Paxil.

Representative methods of administering include giving, providing, feeding or force-feeding, dispensing, inserting, injecting, infusing, prescribing, furnishing, treating with, taking, swallowing, eating or applying.

Eradication of the bacterial overgrowth is determined by detection methods described above, particularly in comparison with recorded results from pre-treatment detection. After at least partially eradicating the bacterial overgrowth, in accordance with the present method, the symptom(s) of irritable bowel syndrome, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, depression, ADHD, an autoimmune disease, or Crohn's disease are improved. Improvement in a symptom(s) is typically determined by self-reporting by the human subject, for example by VAS scoring or other questionnaire. Improvement in academic, professional, or social functioning, e.g., in cases of ADHD or depression can also be reported by others or can be observed by the clinician. Improvement (increase) in pain threshold, e.g., in subjects diagnosed with fibromyalgia, can be measured digitally, for example, by tender point count, or mechanically, for example, by dolorimetry. (F. Wolfe et al., Aspects of Fibromyalgia in the General Population: Sex, Pain Threshold, and Fibromyalgia Symptoms, J. Rheumatol. 22:151-56 [1995]). Improvement in visceral hypersensitivity or hyperalgesia can be measured by balloon distension of the gut, for example, by using an electronic barostat. (B. D. Nabiloff et al., Evidence for two distinct perceptual alterations in irritable bowel syndrome, Gut 41:505-12 {1997]). Some improvement(s) in symptoms, for example systemic lupus erythematosus symptoms, such as rashes, photosensitivity, oral ulcers, arthritis, serositis, or improvements in the condition of blood, kidney or nervous system, can be determined by clinical observation and measurement.

The present invention also relates to a kit for the diagnosis and treatment of irritable bowel syndrome, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, depression, ADHD, an autoimmune disease, or Crohn's disease. The kit is a ready assemblage of materials for facilitating the detection and at least partial eradication of small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. The kit includes at least one, and most preferably multiple, air-tight breath sampling container(s), such as a bag, cylinder, or bottle, and at least one pre-measured amount of a substrate, such as lactulose (e.g., 10-20 g units) or glucose (e.g., 75-80 g units), for measuring breath hydrogen and/or methane before and/or after a treatment to at least partially eradicate SIBO. Alternatively, the kit contains pre-measured amount(s) of isotope-labeled substrate as described above. The present kit also contains instructions for a user in how to use the kit to effectively corroborate a suspected diagnosis of irritable bowel syndrome, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, depression, ADHD, an autoimmune disease, or Crohn's disease, in accordance with the present diagnostic method, and how to treat the underlying cause of any of these conditions by at least partially eradicating SIBO.

Optionally, the kit also contains components useful for at least partially eradicating SIBO, for example, unitized amounts of an antimicrobial agent, such as neomycin, metronidazole, teicoplanin, doxycycline, tetracycline, ciprofloxacin, augmentin, cephalexin (e.g., Keflex), penicillin, ampicillin, kanamycin, rifamycin, rifaximin, or vancomycin, or a 4- or 5-aminosalicylate compound, and/or a probiotic agent, such as an inoculum of a species or strain of Bifidobacterium or Lactobacillus, or a prokinetic agent, such as a peptide or functional analog thereof, macrolide compound, a bile acid, a bile salt, a cholinergic compound, a dopamine antagonist, a nitric oxide altering agent, a 5-HT receptor antagonist, a neuroleptic agent, a kappa agonist, or an antihistamine except ranitidine, famotidine, or nizatidine. Any combination of these can be included in the kit. The kit optionally contains an anti-inflammatory cytokine or an agonist thereof, or an antagonist or antibody effective against a pro-inflammatory cytokine. The kit optionally contains an agent that modifies afferent neural feedback or sensory perception, as described above, for alleviating or improving hyperalgesia related to SIBO or associated with a disorder caused by SIBO, such as IBS, fibromyalgia, or Crohn's disease.

The components assembled in the kits of the present invention are provided to the practitioner stored in any convenient and suitable way that preserves their operability and utility. For example the components can be in dissolved, dehydrated, or lyophilized form; they can be provided at room, refrigerated or frozen temperatures.

Claim 1 of 10 Claims

We claim:

1. A method of diagnosing irritable bowel syndrome comprising:

detecting the presence of small intestinal bacterial overgrowth in a human subject having at least one symptom associated with a suspected diagnosis of irritable bowel syndrome, whereby the suspected diagnosis of irritable bowel syndrome is corroborated by the presence of small intestinal bacterial overgrowth.



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