Is the Gut Bacteria Associated with Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis Inherited?

Is the Gut Bacteria Associated with Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis Inherited?
A new study on inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) entitled “Complex host genetics influence the microbiome in inflammatory bowel disease” was recently published in Genome Medicine by Dr. Dan Knights from University of Minnesota's Department of Computer Science and Engineering and the Biotechnology Institute. In this study, Dr. Knights and colleagues found that patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, can inherit the ‘gut’ bacteria that cause the pathologies. According to the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America, 1.6 million Americans have Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. Therefore, better knowledge of the pathogenesis of these diseases will improve their prevention and treatment. Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) susceptibility has been associated with the interactions between host genetics and type of host-microflora in the gut. However, there has been no direct comparison between complex genome-microbiome associations in large groups of patients with an immunity-related disease. “The intestinal bacteria, or ‘gut microbiome,’ you develop at a very young age, can have a big impact on your health for the rest of your life,” said Dr. Dan Knights, in a press release. “We have found groups of genes that may play a role in shaping the development of imbalanced gut microbes.” In this study, Dr. Knights and colleagues from the University of Minnesota, Broad Institute at Harvard, MIT, University of Toronto and University Medical Center Groningen analyzed three independent cohorts with a total of 474 adult patients with IBD living in Boston, Mass. (USA); Toronto, Ontario (Canada); and Groningen (Netherlands). The clinicians collected samples of DNA from each patient and the DNA
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