Specific bacterial species may initiate, maintain Crohn's

October 22, 2012

Patients newly diagnosed with pediatric Crohn's disease had significantly different levels of certain types of bacteria in their intestinal tracts than age-matched controls, according to a paper in the October Journal of Clinical Microbiology. The work may ultimately lead to treatment involving manipulation of the intestinal bacteria.

The research grew out of many years' study of , a particular focus being the role of mucus-associated bacteria in , says Hazel M. Mitchell of the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia, the principle investigator on the study.

"We deliberately chose to examine children newly diagnosed with Crohn's Disease, as we thought this would increase our chances of detecting species that may be involved in initiating Crohn's disease," she says, noting that confounding factors potentially affecting intestinal flora such as antibiotic or anti-inflammatory intake, smoking, or , are less likely to be present in such children than in adults.

Of particular interest was the finding that one group of bacteria, known as Proteobacteria, was present at higher levels in mild cases, as compared with moderate to severe disease, and controls. That finding, "suggests that this group may play a role in initiation of the disease," says Mitchell, who credits her colleague Nadeem O. Kaakoush with much of the thought and laboratory work behind the study. "The latter finding is consistent with recent studies showing that members of the Proteobacteria, including E. coli and Campylobacter concisus may play a role in initiating ," says Mitchell.

There had been an indication that such was the case, prior to the current study, when the team's earlier research revealed C. concisus to be present in children who already had Crohn's, but not in healthy controls. That information in hand, the researchers grew C. concisus from biopsy specimens from Crohn's children and examined their ability to attach and invade intestinal cells, as compared with strains grown from patients with gastroenteritis, and healthy controls. That research showed that only specific C. concisus strains could invade intestinal cells, that these strains were associated with Crohn's, and that they carried a plasmid which was absent from noninvasive C. concisus strains.

But studies examining dysbiosis (out of balance microbial populations) in adults with Crohn's were inconsistent. That led Mitchell and her colleages to conduct the current study in children with newly diagnosed Crohn's. The results support the theory that Crohn's is linked to a gastrointestinal imbalance in the microbiota, says Mitchell. The bacteria associated with mild disease, including C. concisus, may be initiating infection, she says.

Explore further: Inflammation drives Crohn's disease, says study

More information: N.O. Kaakoush, A.S. Day, K.D. Huinao, S.T. Leach, D.A. Lemberg, S.E. Dowd, and H.M. Mitchell, 2012. Microbial dysbiosis in pediatric patients with Crohn's Disease. J. Clin Microbiol. 50:3258-3266.

Related Stories

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.

Researchers pinpoint role of key proteins in Crohn's Disease

June 14, 2011
(Medical Xpress) -- Researchers at the University of Toronto have discovered the role the interactions between key proteins plays in the body’s response to Crohn’s Disease - a revelation that may lead to the development ...

Adalimumab is a promising therapy for children with Crohn's disease

August 6, 2012
Adalimumab (an anti-tumor necrosis factor [TNF] antibody) is effective in maintaining remission in certain pediatric patients with Crohn's disease, according to a new study in Gastroenterology, the official journal of the ...

Recommended for you

Urine test developed to test for tuberculosis

December 14, 2017
(Medical Xpress)—An international team of researchers has developed a urine test that can be used to detect tuberculosis (TB) in human patients. In their paper published in Science Translational Medicine, the group describes ...

40 years after first Ebola outbreak, survivors show signs they can stave off new infection

December 14, 2017
Survivors of the first known Ebola outbreak, which occurred in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1976, may be key to development of vaccines and therapeutic drugs to treat future outbreaks, according to a new study ...

Aging impairs innate immune response to flu

December 13, 2017
Aging impairs the immune system's response to the flu virus in multiple ways, weakening resistance in older adults, according to a Yale study. The research reveals why older people are at increased risk of illness and death ...

Lyme bacteria survive 28-day course of antibiotics months after infection

December 13, 2017
Bay Area Lyme Foundation, a leading sponsor of Lyme disease research in the US, today announced results of two papers published in the peer-reviewed journals PLOS ONE and American Journal of Pathology, that seem to support ...

Drug blocks Zika, other mosquito-borne viruses in cell cultures

December 12, 2017
If there was a Mafia crime family of the virus world, it might be flaviviruses.

Study seeks to aid diagnosis, management of catatonia

December 11, 2017
Catatonia, a syndrome of motor, emotional and behavioral abnormalities frequently characterized by muscular rigidity and a trance-like mental stupor and at times manifesting with great excitement or agitation, can occur during ...

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.