Send to

Choose Destination
Lancet. 2004 Sep 18-24;364(9439):1039-44.

Culture of Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis from the blood of patients with Crohn's disease.

Author information

Department of Molecular Biology and Microbiology and Biomolecular Science Center, Burnett College of Biomedical Sciences, University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL 32816, USA.



Crohn's disease, a form of inflammatory bowel disease, resembles some aspects of tuberculosis, leprosy, and paratuberculosis. The role of Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis (MAP) in Crohn's disease is controversial.


We tested for MAP by PCR and culture in buffy coat preparations from 28 individuals with Crohn's disease, nine with ulcerative colitis, and 15 without inflammatory bowel disease.


MAP DNA in uncultured buffy coats was identified by PCR in 13 (46%) individuals with Crohn's disease, four (45%) with ulcerative colitis, and three (20%) without inflammatory bowel disease. Viable MAP was cultured from the blood of 14 (50%) patients with Crohn's disease, two (22%) with ulcerative colitis, and none of the individuals without inflammatory bowel disease. Current use of immunosuppressive medication did not correlate with a positive MAP culture. Sequencing of PCR products from MAP cultures confirmed the presence of the MAP-specific IS900 fragment. Among 11 MAP isolates assessed, we identified nine strains that were not identical.


We detected viable MAP in peripheral blood in a higher proportion of individuals with Crohn's disease than in controls. These data contribute to the evidence that MAP might be a cause of Crohn's disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center