Researchers Identify Stool Proteins that Could Help Predict IBD

Researchers Identify Stool Proteins that Could Help Predict IBD
Researchers in the U.S. have made an important discovery that may soon help to identify inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) earlier and predict its behavior, which could benefit treatment. Chandra Mohan, a researcher at the University of Houston, in Texas, and Subra Kugathasan, a gastroenterologist at Emory University, in Atlanta, received a $347,490 grant from the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation to identify potential protein biomarkers of IBD in stool samples from patients. Mohan’s expertise in autoimmune diseases, particularly lupus, and Kugathasan’s knowledge of IBD are expected to contribute to research that aims to better predict and monitor the disease, according to a news release. “With the right biomarkers, we could be in the position to predict the diseases even before a diagnosis is made using conventional approaches,” said Mohan, who is a Hugh Roy and Lillie Cranz Cullen endowed professor of biomedical engineering. For two decades, only one protein present in the stool, called fecal calprotectin, was found to predict IBD. However, its specificity and sensitivity are not optimal for predicting the diseases, Mohan said. Previously, no one had looked for other stool proteins to track IBD. So, Mohan and doctoral student Sanam Soomro set out to study the levels of 1,100 different proteins in IBD stool samples supplied by Kugathasan. Of the 1,100 proteins studied, the team identified 50 that consistently had elevated levels in
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