Role of Klebsiella and collagens in Crohn's disease: a new prospect in the use of low-starch diet

Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2009 Aug;21(8):843-9. doi: 10.1097/MEG.0b013e328318ecde.


Crohn's disease is suggested to result from a microbially triggered immune-mediated autoimmune process, involving mainly the terminal ileum and ileo-caecal junction. Klebsiella pneumoniae shares certain molecular structures present in pullulanase pulA and pulD secretion enzymes with various self-antigens present in collagens and HLA-B27 molecules, respectively. A link exists between high dietary starch intake and the growth of intestinal microflora, involving especially Klebsiella microbes. Increased exposure to Klebsiella in the gut as the result of high starch intake would lead to high production of antiKlebsiella antibodies as well as autoantibodies to the cross-reactive self-antigens with the resultant inflammation at the pathological sites. Eradication of these microbes from the gut in patients with Crohn's disease with the use of low-starch diet and antibacterial agents as well as immunomodulatory measures could be beneficial in the management of this disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Autoantibodies / immunology
  • Crohn Disease / diet therapy
  • Crohn Disease / immunology*
  • Crohn Disease / microbiology
  • Cross Reactions
  • HLA-B27 Antigen / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Intestines / immunology*
  • Intestines / microbiology
  • Klebsiella Infections / diet therapy
  • Klebsiella Infections / immunology*
  • Klebsiella Infections / microbiology
  • Starch / administration & dosage
  • Starch / immunology*


  • Autoantibodies
  • HLA-B27 Antigen
  • Starch