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Scand J Gastroenterol. 2014 Feb;49(2):157-63. doi: 10.3109/00365521.2013.857713. Epub 2013 Nov 21.

Effect of inflammatory bowel disease therapies on immunogenicity of Mycobacterium paratuberculosis proteins.

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  • 1Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, University of British Columbia , Vancouver, BC , Canada.



The link between Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis (MAP) and Crohn's disease (CD) is supported by several studies that have reported the detection and isolation of MAP from human tissues, but causation has not yet been proven. Preliminary studies have shown higher levels of antibodies in sera from CD patients against secreted protein from MAP within human macrophages when compared to healthy controls. The immunogenicity of this protein in CD patients under different treatment regimes was evaluated.


Sera of 110 CD patients, 82 ulcerative colitis (UC), and 150 healthy controls were collected and the presence of antibodies against the mycobacterial protein tyrosine phosphatase PtpA was assayed using ELISA.


A statistically significant difference in the level of antibodies against PtpA was measured in untreated CD patients versus healthy controls, but variation in the antibody levels was observed when patients were subjected to different treatment regimens. UC patients showed no differences in the levels of antibodies against PtpA when compared to healthy controls.


CD patients under different drug treatments show a clear difference in the levels of antibodies against a protein secreted by MAP, suggesting that if MAP is active in the progress of CD, some treatments can be detrimental to its survival.

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