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In the overly sterile environment my characters live in, the AIs supplement probiotics with food servings for the humans.

Let's say one type of gut flora went extinct. The AIs are trying to fix the problem by experimenting with new probiotic ratios. If they overdosed one test group with L Salivarious, and the people's systems were already out of natural balance, could this spawn a new auto-immune disease?

I'd like the disease to have a broad collection of symptoms similar to MS, although I'm not sure how to do that. I don't want to posit the L Salivarious would attack the myelin sheath (I assume it would not).

What would too much L. Salivarious do to a body if it took on the vigor of an auto-immune disease?

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  • $\begingroup$ You might be better off asking the Biology or Health Exchanges $\endgroup$ – nzaman Nov 17 '16 at 14:20
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Auto-immune diseases are where your body's defenses (anti-bodies, T-cells, etc) attack the body's components. So if L. Salivarious attacked the myelin sheath, it wouldn't be an auto-immune disease, it would just be a regular old bacterial disease.

If a bacteria did attack the myelin sheath, then I would expect the symptoms to be exactly like MS, since it would be multiple sclerosis. The causes of MS are not confirmed, and infectious agents have been proposed. Therefore if we were to confirm that a bacteria was causing MS, that would become the accepted cause of MS.

If you are looking for another bacterial infection that is similar to the effects of MS, the closest analogy I can think of would be bacterial menegitis. The symptoms there are neck stiffness, fever, and death.

Finally to address your question of 'could this spawn a new auto-immune disease?'...sure? If we knew how auto-immune diseases started I imagine the powers-that-be would be taking action to ensure that no more started. For that question, I would say your best guess is as good as anyone's.

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  • $\begingroup$ Oh I feel ridiculous now. You're absolutely right. Thank you. $\endgroup$ – A. K. Snyder Nov 17 '16 at 14:48

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