Incidence of Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis in a population-based cohort of patients with Crohn’s disease and control subjects. Bentley RW, Keenan JI, Gearry RB, Kennedy MA, Barclay ML, Roberts RL. Am J Gastroenterol. 2008 May;103(5):1168-72.
OBJECTIVE: To define the incidence of Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis (MAP) in patients with Crohn’s disease (CD) and in control subjects. METHODS: Blood samples from 361 CD patients from a previously described population-based inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) cohort and 200 blood donor controls, of known NOD2 genotype, were screened by PCR for MAP-specific IS900 DNA. These results were correlated with NOD2 genotype.
RESULTS: The PCR assay was capable of detecting 20 fg of purified MAP DNA, equivalent to roughly 100 MAP cells/mL of blood. MAP-specific IS900 DNA was detected in 33.8% of CD cases and 21.5% of controls (OR 1.86, 95% CI 1.247-2.785, P= 0.002). All study participants were genotyped for the NOD2 mutations 2104C>T (R702W), 2722G>C (G908R), and 3020insC (1007fs). Carriage of one or two NOD2 mutations was not associated with a significantly higher risk of CD (OR 0.75, 95% CI 0.465-1.207, P= 0.234). No significant association was seen in the CD cohort for carriage of one or two NOD2 mutations and MAP status (OR 0.883, 95% CI 0.494-1.579, P= 0.675). CONCLUSIONS: Screening peripheral blood using IS900 PCR indicated that MAP DNA could be detected in a significant proportion of CD cases from a large population-based cohort, and also, in control subjects. The over-representation of MAP DNA in CD suggests either a role or a probable role for MAP in the etiology of CD.