Microbial Populations Less Diverse in Crohn's Disease Patients

OTC Guide, June 2014, Volume 18, Issue 1

Patients with Crohn's disease have gut microbe populations that are less diverse than those in individuals without the disease, according to a study of more than 1500 patients.

A comparison of gut microbes in 447 pediatric patients with Crohn's disease and 221 healthy pediatric patients found higher levels of inflammatory bacteria populations in the Crohn's disease patients, and lower populations of bacteria associated with reduced inflammation. In addition, patients treated with antibiotics prior to their Crohn's diagnosis tended to have more drastic microbial imbalances, suggesting that antibiotic use amplifies the imbalance.