Analysis of bacterial bowel communities of IBD patients: what has it revealed?

Inflamm Bowel Dis. 2008 Jun;14(6):858-67. doi: 10.1002/ibd.20392.


The bacterial community, in whole or in part, resident in the bowel of humans is considered to fuel the chronic immune inflammatory conditions characteristic of Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. Chronic or recurrent pouchitis in ulcerative colitis patients is responsive to antibiotic therapy, indicating that bacteria are the etiological agents. Microbiological investigations of the bacterial communities in stool or of biopsy-associated bacteria have so far failed to reveal conclusively the existence of pathogens or bacterial communities of consistently altered composition in IBD patients relative to control subjects. Confounding factors need to be eliminated from future studies by using better-defined patient populations of newly diagnosed and untreated individuals and by improved sampling procedures.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / microbiology*
  • Intestines / microbiology*
  • Pouchitis / microbiology