• The Treatment-Naive Microbiome in New-Onset Crohn’s Disease

    There has been much interest in recent years about the role of microbacteria in IBD and in particular Crohn’s disease. Scientists have thought that in certain individuals there is an abnormal reaction of the immune system to the microbiota (or bacteria) in the gut which can lead to IBD.  Researchers have been trying to find out if there are certain bacteria which are associated with IBD. This study examined the range of bacteria in stool and tissue samples for a large number of children across several centres in North America who were newly diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, those with existing Crohn’s disease and controls.  When the researchers compared the stool samples in those with newly diagnosed CD with the tissues samples from the lining of the gut they found major differences in the groups of bacteria. The study found differences in the number and types of bacteria found in those with CD compared to those with no IBD suggesting that certain types of bacteria were associated with CD. Further analysis was performed on this on whether the range of bacterial found could predict disease severity and found that those who had severe disease had less bacterial diversity. The researchers also found that the bacteria in samples from the ileum (last part of the small bowel) were very similar to those from the rectum. This may have therapeutic advantage if in the future by using bacterial composition to monitor response to treatment or predict disease flares using minimally invasive techniques.