Crohn's Disease Information: Systems Of Crohn's Disease

The bacterial composition in the stool of Crohn's disease appears to be a predictor of disease activity. That's what researchers from Maastricht UMC + write in the scientific journal Scientific Reports. The current standard for monitoring patients with chronic intestinal disease is to perform endoscopy regularly. However, this technique is expensive, invasive and not entirely free from possible complications. Measuring microbial life in stools could possibly provide an efficient and patient-friendly alternative.

 The bacterial composition in the stool of Crohn Crohn's Disease Information: Systems Of Crohn's Disease

Live With Crohn's Disease

Chronic intestinal disorders, including Crohn's disease, have a significant impact on the quality of life, especially during periods that aggravate symptoms. Various bacterial species with names like Ruminococcus, Roseburia and Blautia appear to be present during that active period. "By determining the presence of these and other bacteria, we are compiling a profile and we can monitor the disease as it were," says Maastricht UMC + research director Dr. Daisy Jonkers. "Although further research is required, this method may in the future provide an efficient and patient-friendly alternative for the regular endoscopy." In addition, the Maastricht scientists also want to focus on research into changes in bacterial composition during the course of the time. This would allow you to see a worsening of the disease before.

What's Crohn's Disease?

Crohn's disease is a chronic inflammatory bowel disease. The disorder can be erratic with alternation of relatively quiet periods (so-called remission) and active periods with sudden worsening of complaints (abdominal pain, fatigue, blood loss). Patients must therefore regularly check with the specialist to get in time. An endoscopy can be considered for possible inflammation of the intestinal mucosa, an indicator that aggravates the disease. If needed, treatment with medication can help keep the symptoms under control. However, an endoscopy involves disadvantages, such as high costs and risk of complications. Researchers therefore seek new ways to monitor patients better.

Bacteria In Crohn's Disease

The Maastricht researchers studied the bacterial composition in the faeces of 71 patients with Crohn's disease. That ultimately yielded nearly 200 samples, of which 97 in the active period and 97 in the quiet period of the disorder. The bacterial composition of the samples was determined by analysis of present genetic material. A specific bacterial profile was found to distinguish between patients in the active phase and patients in the remission phase. This means that certain bacteria are more present in one period, but less in the other (and vice versa). In almost 80 percent of cases, a certain bacterial composition predicted whether a patient was in the active phase of the disease.

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