Exact gut bacteria involved in Crohn's disease identified
Researchers have now identified specific bacteria that are abnormally increased or decreased when Crohn's disease develops.
Twenty-eight gastroenterology centers across North America have been working together to uncover how microbes contribute to the inflammatory cascade of Crohn's disease.
Researchers took biopsies from 447 individuals with new-onset Crohn's disease and 221 nonaffected individuals at multiple locations along the gastrointestinal tract and then looked for differences between the two groups.
They also validated their methods in additional individuals, resulting in a total of 1,742 samples from pediatric and adult patients with either new-onset or established disease.
The team found that microbial balance was disrupted in patients with Crohn's disease, with beneficial microbes missing and pathological ones flourishing. Having more of the disease-associated organisms correlated with increasing clinical disease activity.
When the researchers analyzed the effects of antibiotics, which are sometimes used to treat Crohn's disease symptoms prior to diagnosis, they found that antibiotic usage in children with Crohn's disease could be counterproductive because it causes a loss of good microbes and an increase in pathological ones.
The investigators also examined different approaches for measuring gut microbes in patients and found that the bacterial communities in biopsies taken from rectal tissue served as good indicators of disease, regardless of where a patient was experiencing inflammation along the gastrointestinal tract.
The findings have been published in the Cell Press journal Cell Host and Microbe.
(Posted on 13-03-2014)
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