Campylobacter Seroreactivity in Adults with Recent Onset of Crohn’s Disease

Jacqueline I Keenan, Nina Salm, John F Pearson, Richard B Gearry, Andrew S Day


AIM: The rate of campylobacteriosis in New Zealand is amongst the highest in the developed world and is especially prevalent in the 15-29 year old age group, a demographic that is within the peak age group of diagnosis of Crohn’s disease in our community. With evidence mounting for a role for acute bacterial enteritis in the aetiology of Crohn’s disease, our aim was to determine if a link exists between recent campylobacter enteritis and the first occurrence of this debilitating disease. METHODS: An immunoassay was developed and validated by assaying sera from 420 community volunteers and 50 people with recently confirmed campylobacter enteritis. Selection of the test population of Crohn’s disease patients (n=126) was based upon disease diagnosis within 2 years of recruitment. All sera were tested following absorption with Helicobacter pylori to reduce risk of false positive responses. RESULTS: Campylobacter IgG seroreactivity was increased in 9.6% of males with recent onset of Crohn’s disease, compared to 1.9% of male volunteers from the same population (p=0.016). In contrast, only one of 75 females recently diagnosed with Crohn’s disease had serological evidence of Campylobacter infection. Coincidentally, one quarter of the Campylobacter-infected controls failed to mount a significant IgG antibody response to infection. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest a link between recent Campylobacter infection and the onset of CD in males only. The failure to mount an IgG response to infection in a subset of infected individuals warrants further investigation as an independent risk factor for subsequent gastrointestinal disease.

Full Text: PDF HTML


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.