Cornell scientists link E. coli bacteria to Crohn's disease

August 8, 2007

A team of Cornell University scientists from the College of Veterinary Medicine, Weill Cornell Medical College and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences have discovered that a novel group of E. coli bacteria – containing genes similar to those described in uropathogenic and avian pathogenic E. coli and enteropathogenic bacteria such as salmonella, cholera, bubonic plague – is associated with intestinal inflammation in patients with Crohn’s disease in their research paper published July 12 by “The ISME Journal: Multidisciplinary Journal of Microbial Ecology.”

Crohn’s disease, an incurable inflammatory disorder of the intestine – most commonly found in the lower part of the small intestine called the ileum – affects 1-in-1,000 people in Europe and North America. Thus far, gut bacteria have long been suspected in playing a pivotal role in the development of Crohn’s disease, but the specific bacterial characteristics that drive the inflammatory response have remained elusive.

Researchers at Cornell examined possible causes for the disease in patients with Crohn’s restricted to the ileum and the colon versus healthy individuals.

“Given that only about 20 percent of fecal bacteria can be cultured, our group adopted a broad culture-independent approach to target specific subgroups of bacteria for quantitative in situ analysis and culture based characterization,” said Kenneth Simpson, professor of small animal medicine at the College of Veterinary Medicine. “Our findings raise the possibility that a novel group of E. coli contains opportunistic pathogens that may be causally related to chronic intestinal inflammation in susceptible individuals. They suggest that an integrated approach that considers an individual’s mucosa-associated flora in addition to disease phenotype and genotype may improve outcome.”

The study found an increased level of E. coli bacteria in more inflamed areas of the small intestines instead of MAP, a bacterium related to tubercle bacillus that has been more commonly associated with Crohn’s.

Source: Cornell University

Explore further: Scientists identify immune cells that keep gut fungi under control

Related Stories

Scientists identify immune cells that keep gut fungi under control

January 11, 2018
Immune cells that process food and bacterial antigens in the intestines control the intestinal population of fungi, according to a new study from Weill Cornell Medicine scientists. Defects in the fungus-fighting abilities ...

Research uncovers bacteria linking Crohn's disease to arthritis

February 9, 2017
Patients with Crohn's disease, a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that causes abdominal pain and diarrhea, can also experience joint pain. In Crohn's disease, which affects about 800,000 Americans, the immune system ...

Inflammation drives Crohn's disease, says study

August 16, 2012
Inflammation -- not genetic susceptibility -- drives the growth of intestinal bacteria and invasive E. coli linked to Crohn's disease (CD), reports a new Cornell study.

Investigators show how immune cells are 'educated' not to attack beneficial bacteria

April 24, 2015
An international research team led by Weill Cornell Medical College investigators has discovered an answer to why the human immune system ignores roughly 100 trillion beneficial bacteria that populate the gastrointestinal ...

Indicator of chronic fatigue syndrome found in gut bacteria

June 27, 2016
Physicians have been mystified by chronic fatigue syndrome, a condition where normal exertion leads to debilitating fatigue that isn't alleviated by rest. There are no known triggers, and diagnosis requires lengthy tests ...

Healthy gut microbiota can prevent metabolic syndrome, researchers say

November 24, 2014
Promoting healthy gut microbiota, the bacteria that live in the intestine, can help treat or prevent metabolic syndrome, a combination of risk factors that increases a person's risk for heart disease, diabetes and stroke, ...

Recommended for you

Spare parts from small parts: Novel scaffolds to grow muscle

February 20, 2018
Australian biomedical engineers have successfully produced a 3D material that mimics nature to transform cells into muscle.

Clues to obesity's roots found in brain's quality control process

February 20, 2018
Deep in the middle of our heads lies a tiny nub of nerve cells that play a key role in how hungry we feel, how much we eat, and how much weight we gain.

Study looks at how newly discovered gene helps grow blood vessels

February 19, 2018
A new study published today found that a newly discovered gene helps grow blood vessels when it senses inadequate blood flow to tissues.

Scientists produce human intestinal lining that re-creates living tissue inside organ-chip

February 16, 2018
Investigators have demonstrated how cells of a human intestinal lining created outside an individual's body mirror living tissue when placed inside microengineered Intestine-Chips, opening the door to personalized testing ...

Data wave hits health care

February 16, 2018
Technology used by Facebook, Google and Amazon to turn spoken language into text, recognize faces and target advertising could help doctors fight one of the deadliest infections in American hospitals.

Researcher explains how statistics, neuroscience improve anesthesiology

February 16, 2018
It's intuitive that anesthesia operates in the brain, but the standard protocol among anesthesiologists when monitoring and dosing patients during surgery is to rely on indirect signs of arousal like movement, and changes ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.