Lactase persistence, NOD2 status and Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis infection associations to Inflammatory Bowel Disease
1 Animal Health Department, NEIKER-Instituto Vasco de Investigación y Desarrollo Agrario, Berreaga, Derio, Bizkaia, 1.48160, Spain
2 Instituto Biodonostia, Hospital Donostia, Paseo Dr Beguiristain 115, San Sebastián, 20014, Spain
3 Servicio de Aparato Digestivo, Hospital Universitario Central de Asturias, C/ Celestino Villamil, Oviedo, s/n. 33006, Spain
Gut Pathogens 2012, 4:6 doi:10.1186/1757-4749-4-6Published: 28 June 2012
Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), which includes both Crohn’s disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC), is caused by a complex interplay involving genetic predisposition, environmental factors and an infectious agent. Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis (MAP) is a promising pathogen candidate since it produces a chronic intestinal inflammatory disease in ruminants that resembles CD in humans. MAP is a ubiquitous microorganism, although its presence in the food chain, especially in milk from infected animals, is what made us think that there could be an association between lactase persistence (LP) and IBD. The LCT mutation has brought adaptation to dairy farming which in turn would have increased exposure of the population to infection by MAP. NOD2 gene mutations are highly associated to CD.
In our study, CD and UC patients and controls from the North of Spain were genotyped for the lactase gene (LCT) and for three NOD-2 variants, R702W, G908R and Cins1007fs. MAP PCR was carried out in order to assess MAP infection status and these results were correlated with LCT and NOD2 genotypes.
As for LP, no association was found with IBD, although UC patients were less likely to present the T/T−13910 variant compared to controls, showing a higher C-allele frequency and a tendency to lactase non-persistence (LNP). NOD2 mutations were associated to CD being the per-allele risk higher for the Cins1007fs variant. MAP infection was more extended among the healthy controls (45.2%) compared to CD patients (21.38%) and UC patients (19.04%) and this was attributed to therapy. The Asturian CD cohort presented higher levels of MAP prevalence (38.6%) compared to the Basque CD cohort (15.5%), differences also attributed to therapy. No interaction was found between MAP infection and LCT or NOD2 status.
We conclude that LP is not significantly associated with IBD, but that MAP infection and NOD2 do show not mutually interacting associations with IBD.