Detection of anti-Saccharomyces cerevisiae antibodies in Crohn's disease: is it a reliable diagnostic and prognostic marker?

Dig Liver Dis. 2001 Dec;33(9):755-61. doi: 10.1016/s1590-8658(01)80692-7.


Background: In the past few years, serologic markers have been proposed in inflammatory bowel disease. Anti-Saccharomyces cerevisiae antibodies showed high specificity for Crohn's disease. A prognostic role for serology has also been hypothesised.

Aims: To evaluate anti-Saccharomyces cerevisiae antibody distribution in an unselected Italian inflammatory bowel disease population. To analyse whether anti-Saccharomyces cerevisiae antibody status (positive/negative) and/or anti-Saccharomyces cerevisiae antibody titres are associated with clinical variables and outcome measures in Crohn's disease patients.

Patients and methods: A series of 299 inflammatory bowel disease patients were evaluated; serum samples were taken and a short clinical history was recorded. anti-Saccharomyces cerevisiae antibodies IgG enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay Medilab (Milan, Italy) kit was used in order to determine anti-Saccharomyces cerevisiae antibody status.

Results: Sensitivity, specificity and likelihood ratio for positive test in the differential diagnosis of inflammatory bowel disease was 59%, 89%, 8.1, respectively. Clinical variables significantly associated with anti-Saccharomyces cerevisiae antibody status in logistic regression were found to be ileal location (p=0.01) and earlier age at diagnosis (p<0.01). Among ileal Crohn's disease patients, there was a trend in concordance between anti-Saccharomyces cerevisiae antibody titres and higher number of surgical procedures which was not statistically significant applying more complex statistics.

Conclusions: In an Italian inflammatory bowel disease population, anti-Saccharomyces cerevisiae antibodies status showed characteristics similar to those previously reported. Anti-Saccharomyces cerevisiae antibody positivity is associated with ileal involvement and with earlier onset of Crohn's disease.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antibodies, Anti-Idiotypic / isolation & purification*
  • Biomarkers
  • Crohn Disease / immunology*
  • Crohn Disease / microbiology
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / diagnosis
  • Linear Models
  • Male
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prognosis
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / immunology*


  • Antibodies, Anti-Idiotypic
  • Biomarkers