In this review, the evidence to support the multifactorial and polygenic nature of the disease is briefly described. The past of genetics of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is characterized by unfulfilled promises and is now closed with a new vision and a new promise coming from a genetic epidemiology approach. The genome-wide screening has led to the first gene of IBD and has given a new insight into the regulation of chronic inflammation. The future of IBD will be under scrutiny of the visionaries, but also the skeptics and the enthusiasts.
Copyright 2003 S. Karger AG, Basel