Gut bacteria’s association with the symptoms of MS?

Dr Wolfgang Marx

Deakin University

| Causes and Prevention | Immunology | Incubator | 2018 | Investigator Led Research |


This project is investigating the gut microbiome or the overall composition of bacteria which are found in people’s stomachs. Changes in gut bacteria have been suggested to contribute to the progression of MS and enhancement of MS symptoms. Since the bacterial composition might be modifiable, it is vitally important to determine their contribution to MS.

This study will investigate the gut bacteria of people with MS who are undertaking an existing clinical trial. The trial is a 16-week trial testing the effects of dietary supplements on depression and fatigue in MS. Dr Marx and his team will be looking at the gut bacteria of 150 people with MS who are participating in the trial to examine whether there are any changes their gut bacteria during the trial and whether the composition of the gut bacteria influences the clinical severity or progression of their disease.

Progress to Date

Dr Marx has received all the necessary approvals, including ethics approval, to conduct the microbiome analysis of participants with MS who are taking part in the existing clinical trial. Recruitment for the trial is currently taking place, with 9 currently recruited, 14 screened and an additional 20 participants on the waitlist for screening. Dr Marx is also in the process of collecting microbiome samples from the participants, and several processes have also been put in place to ensure the appropriate microbiome collection kit is used by participants.

Updated: 11 June 2020

Updated: 02 January, 2018


  • Dr Wolfgang Marx, Deakin University


  • Professor Anne-Louise Ponsonby, Murdoch Children's Research Institute
  • Professor Robyn Lucas, Australian National University
  • Professor Mimi Tang, Murdoch Children's Research Institute

Grant Awarded

  • Incubator Grant

Total Funding

  • $24,110


  • 1 year over 2018

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