The role of infection in the aetiology of inflammatory bowel disease

Richard Hansen, John Thomson, Emad M El-Omar, Georgina L Hold

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature review

78 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We have greatly increased our understanding of the genetics of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in the last decade; however, migrant studies highlight the importance of environment in disease risk. The possibility that IBD is an infection has been debated since the first description of Crohn’s disease. Mycobacterium avium paratuberculosis was the first organism to be suggested as an IBD pathogen, and it has been argued that it fulfils Koch’s postulates and could be designated the cause of Crohn’s disease. Other organisms have been postulated as possible IBD pathogens, including various Helicobacter species, one of which has been identified in primate colitis; others are widely used in animal models of IBD. Adherent-invasive Escherichia coli appear specific to ileal Crohn’s disease and have been shown to induce the release of TNF-a, a key cytokine in IBD inflammation. The aim of this article is to give a concise overview of the infections postulated as being relevant to the onset of IBD. We will also briefly cover the immunology underpinning IBD, in addition to reviewing current knowledge regarding other microorganisms that are associated with modifying the risk of developing IBD. It may be that infectious organisms have an orchestrator role in the development of dysbiosis and subsequently IBD.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)266-276
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Gastroenterology
Volume45
Issue number3
Early online date15 Jan 2010
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2010

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Inflammatory Bowel Diseases
Infection
Crohn Disease
Ileal Diseases
Dysbiosis
Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis
Helicobacter
Colitis
Allergy and Immunology
Primates
Animal Models
Cytokines
Escherichia coli
Inflammation

Keywords

  • inflammatory bowel disease
  • crohn's disease
  • ulcerative colitis
  • infection
  • aetiology

Cite this

The role of infection in the aetiology of inflammatory bowel disease. / Hansen, Richard; Thomson, John; El-Omar, Emad M; Hold, Georgina L.

In: Journal of Gastroenterology, Vol. 45, No. 3, 03.2010, p. 266-276.

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature review

Hansen, Richard ; Thomson, John ; El-Omar, Emad M ; Hold, Georgina L. / The role of infection in the aetiology of inflammatory bowel disease. In: Journal of Gastroenterology. 2010 ; Vol. 45, No. 3. pp. 266-276.
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