What Role Does Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis Play in Crohn's Disease?

Bach H1. Curr Infect Dis Rep. 2015 Feb;17(2):463. doi: 10.1007/s11908-015-0463-z.
Author information

1Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, University of British Columbia, 410-2660 Oak Street, Vancouver, BC, V6H 3Z6, Canada, horacio.bach@gmail.com.


Crohn's disease (CD) is a chronic, debilitating inflammatory bowel disease with no etiological agent yet identified. Studies have demonstrated that the bacterium Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis (MAP) is present in a high percentage of CD patients. Although MAP has been isolated from human specimens, current techniques fail to show the presence of MAP in 100 % of tissues or biopsies obtained from CD patient lesions, and thus MAP cannot meet Koch's postulate as the etiological agent of CD. In this report, the effect of genetic and immune factors as well as the presence of MAP as a potential environmental factor is analyzed.

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