Prevalence and Association of Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis with Disease Course in Patients with Ulcero-Constrictive Ileocolonic Disease

Citation: Khan IA, Pilli S, A S, Rampal R, Chauhan SK, Tiwari V, et al. (2016) Prevalence and Association of Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis with Disease Course in Patients with Ulcero-Constrictive Ileocolonic Disease. PLoS ONE 11(3): e0152063. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0152063
Published: March 28, 2016

Abstract
Background: Association of Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis (MAP) and Crohn’s disease (CD) has been controversial due to contradictory reports. Therefore, we determined the prevalence of MAP in patients with CD and intestinal tuberculosis (ITB) and its association with clinical course.
Methodology: Blood and intestinal biopsies were taken from 69 CD, 32 ITB patients and 41 patients with haemorrhoidal bleed who served as controls. qPCR targeting of MAP-specific IS900 gene was used to detect the presence of MAP DNA. qPCR results were further validated by sequencing. Immunohistochemistry (IHC) was used to detect the presence of MAP antigen in biopsy specimens. CD and ITB patients were followed-up for disease course and response to therapy.
Principal Findings: The frequency of MAP-specific DNA in biopsies by qPCR was significantly higher in CD patients (23.2%, p = 0.03) as compared to controls (7.3%). No significant difference in intestinal MAP presence was observed between ITB patients (12.5%, p = 0.6) and controls (7.3%). MAP presence in blood of CD patients was 10.1% as compared to 4.9% in controls while no patients with ITB were found to be positive (p = 0.1). Using IHC for detection of MAP antigen, the prevalence of MAP in CD was 2.9%, 12.5% in ITB patients and 2.4% in controls. However, long-term follow-up of the patients revealed no significant associations between clinical characteristics and treatment outcomes with MAP positivity.
Conclusion: We report significantly high prevalence of MAP in intestinal biopsies of CD patients. However, the presence of MAP does not affect the disease course and treatment outcomes in either CD or ITB patients.

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