Background: Campylobacter concisus and other members of the Campylobacter genus have recently been suggested as possible etiological agents of Crohn's disease (CD). To further investigate this issue we determined the prevalence of these organisms in pediatric patients newly diagnosed with CD.
Methods: DNA was extracted from fecal specimens collected from 54 children with CD, 27 noninflammatory bowel disease (non-IBD), and 33 healthy controls and subjected to polymerase chain reaction (PCR) sequencing.
Results: Detection of C. concisus DNA using a newly developed PCR assay targeting the 16S rRNA gene of C. concisus showed that 65% (35/54) of fecal samples from CD children were positive, a prevalence significantly higher than that in the healthy (33%, 11/33, P = 0.008) and non-IBD controls (37%, 10/27, P = 0.03). The prevalence of all Campylobacter DNA using genus-specific primers in children with CD was 72% (39/54), which was significantly higher than the 30% (10/33, P = 0.0002) and 30% (8/27, P = 0.0003) observed in healthy and non-IBD controls, respectively.
Conclusions: Given the strengthening evidence for a significantly higher prevalence of C. concisus and other non-jejuni Campylobacter species in pediatric CD, investigation into the role of these non-jejuni Campylobacter species in the initiation of human IBD is clearly a priority.