Intestinal microbiota and probiotics in celiac disease

Clin Microbiol Rev. 2014 Jul;27(3):482-9. doi: 10.1128/CMR.00106-13.


Celiac disease (CD) is a common chronic autoimmune enteropathy caused by gluten intake. To date, the only therapy for CD is the complete exclusion of dietary sources of grains and any food containing gluten. It has been hypothesized that the intestinal microbiota is somehow involved in CD. For this reason, probiotics are appearing as an interesting adjuvant in the dietetic management of CD. This review aims to discuss the characteristics of the microbiota in CD subjects and the use of probiotics as a novel therapy for CD. Comparisons between children with CD and controls show that their microbiota profiles differ; the former have fewer lactobacilli and bifidobacteria. Specific probiotics have been found to digest or alter gluten polypeptides. It has also been demonstrated that some bacterial species belonging to the genera Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium exert protective properties on epithelial cells from damage caused by gliadin.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Celiac Disease / immunology
  • Celiac Disease / microbiology*
  • Humans
  • Intestines / microbiology*
  • Microbiota*
  • Probiotics*