Arthritis can be linked to inflammatory bowel disease

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Arthritis can be linked to inflammatory bowel disease

 Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a class of inflammatory disorders of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, encompasses ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease. In addition to affecting GI tract, IBD may have several extra-intestinal manifestations (EIM) like arthritis, ocular involvement and anemia etc. Arthritis is the most common EIM in IBD that affect approximately 800,000 Americans. A study published in Science Translational Medicine on 8th Feb 2017 has also confirmed this association. The present study explains that Crohn's disease affects not only the bowel (diarrhea & abdominal pain) but also the musculoskeletal system (Spondyloarthritis) which results in the spine and the joint pain.

The study was led by a team of scientists of Jill Roberts Center for Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences and a special surgery hospital.

The fecal samples of two groups were collected, one having only spondyloarthritis and other IBD with spondyloarthritis. Both the samples had significant findings of E. coli bacteria. These bacteria are coated with immunoglobulin-A (IgA) antibodies. Therefore, the identification of E. coli can be easily using flow cytometry, in which fluorescent probes are used to detect these antibodies. Further, by assessing these samples along with mouse models, scientists concluded that E. coli were linked to a class of Th17 cells, that helps regulate the inflammation in individuals with autoimmune disease. The patients with Crohn's along with spondyloarthritis were found to have higher levels of these cells and protein, IL-23 which triggers its action.

Dr. Kenneth Simpson, the co-author of the study, said that “if we can block the ability of bacteria to induce inflammation, we may be able to kick Crohn's disease and spondyloarthritis into remission”. This is possible with medication, ustekinumab which was approved by the FDA. Ustekinumab was enriched with anti-IL-23 properties, which means this can help to reduce the symptoms of spondyloarthritis and Crohn's disease by triggering the inflammation.

Therefore, according to Dr. Longman, the results of this innovative study will help find the available medications that will provide the best action against the present condition of the disease.  


Weill Cornell Medicine

Link to the source:

The original title of the article:

Bacteria links Crohn's disease to arthritis


Dr. Ellen Scherl, Dr. Lisa Mandl et al.

Exploratory, Arthritis, Joints
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