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The Association of Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis with Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

By Verlaine J Timms, George Daskalopoulos, Hazel M Mitchell and Brett A Neilan


The association of Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis (M. paratuberculosis) with Crohn's disease is a controversial issue. M. paratuberculosis is detected by amplifying the IS900 gene, as microbial culture is unreliable from humans. We determined the presence of M. paratuberculosis in patients with Crohn's disease (CD) (n = 22), ulcerative colitis (UC) (n = 20), aphthous ulcers (n = 21) and controls (n = 42) using PCR assays validated on bovine tissue. Culture from human tissue was also performed. M. paratuberculosis prevalence in the CD and UC groups was compared to the prevalence in age and sex matched non-inflammatory bowel disease controls. Patients and controls were determined to be M. paratuberculosis positive if all three PCR assays were positive. A significant association was found between M. paratuberculosis and Crohn's disease (p = 0.02) that was not related to age, gender, place of birth, smoking or alcohol intake. No significant association was detected between M. paratuberculosis and UC or aphthous ulcers; however, one M. paratuberculosis isolate was successfully cultured from a patient with UC. We report the resistance of this isolate to ethambutol, rifampin, clofazamine and streptomycin. Interestingly this isolate could not only survive but could grow slowly at 5°C. We demonstrate a significant association between M. paratuberculosis and CD using multiple pre-validated PCR assays and that M. paratuberculosis can be isolated from patients with UC

Topics: Medicine, R, Science, Q
Publisher: Public Library of Science (PLoS)
DOI identifier: 10.1371/journal.pone.0148731
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