Detection of enterotoxigenic Bacteroides fragilis in patients with ulcerative colitis
BACKGROUND Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is described as a relapsing condition with high morbidity and uncertain complex pathogenesis. The association of Mycobacterium avium ssp. paratuberculosis (MAP) with Crohn's disease (CD) in human has been debated for decades, however there is no confirmed data to verify such relations in Iran. The aim of this study was to investigate risk factors and a possible role of MAP in Iranian patients with CD. METHODS Anti-MAP antibodies were detected in serum of IBD patients and subjects without IBD (nIBD) through ELISA; MAP DNA and viable MAP cells were identified in patients' biopsies through nested PCR and direct culture methods, respectively. Principal component analysis (PCA) was used to investigate the risk factors in relation to IBD and MAP infection. RESULTS Positivity for IS900 PCR was detected in 64% (n = 18) of CD, 33% (n = 10) of ulcerative colitis (UC) and 9.7% (n = 6) of nIBD samples. Live MAP cells were isolated from biopsies of 2 CD patients only. Among 28 patients with CD, 46% (n = 13) and 39% (n = 11) were positive for antibodies against MAP3865c133-141 and MAP3865c125-133 peptides, respectively, whereas much lower seroreactivity was detected in UC subjects accounting for 3% (n = 1) for MAP3865c133-141 and 16.7% (n = 5) for MAP3865c125-133. A high immune reactivity to MAP epitopes among CD patients was positively correlated with consumption of fast food meals and IBD familiarity. For both CD and UC, breastfeeding period and consumption of fruit/vegetables presented negative correlation with the presence of anti-MAP antibodies. CONCLUSIONS This study provided evidences that high prevalence of MAP DNA and anti-MAP antibodies in CD patients is significantly associated with the development of CD. Despite the role of several factors contributing to IBD, the presence of MAP DNA and anti-MAP antibodies in Iranian CD patients highlights a possible transmission of MAP from animal-derived products to humans.