Omics and Multi-Omics in IBD: No Integration, No Breakthroughs

Int J Mol Sci. 2023 Oct 5;24(19):14912. doi: 10.3390/ijms241914912.

Claudio Fiocchi 1 2


Author information

1Department of Inflammation & Immunity, Lerner Research Institute, Cleveland, OH 44195, USA.

2Department of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, Digestive Disease and Surgery Institute, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH 44195, USA.


The recent advent of sophisticated technologies like sequencing and mass spectroscopy platforms combined with artificial intelligence-powered analytic tools has initiated a new era of "big data" research in various complex diseases of still-undetermined cause and mechanisms. The investigation of these diseases was, until recently, limited to traditional in vitro and in vivo biological experimentation, but a clear switch to in silico methodologies is now under way. This review tries to provide a comprehensive assessment of state-of-the-art knowledge on omes, omics and multi-omics in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The notion and importance of omes, omics and multi-omics in both health and complex diseases like IBD is introduced, followed by a discussion of the various omics believed to be relevant to IBD pathogenesis, and how multi-omics "big data" can generate new insights translatable into useful clinical tools in IBD such as biomarker identification, prediction of remission and relapse, response to therapy, and precision medicine. The pitfalls and limitations of current IBD multi-omics studies are critically analyzed, revealing that, regardless of the types of omes being analyzed, the majority of current reports are still based on simple associations of descriptive retrospective data from cross-sectional patient cohorts rather than more powerful longitudinally collected prospective datasets. Given this limitation, some suggestions are provided on how IBD multi-omics data may be optimized for greater clinical and therapeutic benefit. The review concludes by forecasting the upcoming incorporation of multi-omics analyses in the routine management of IBD.

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