Multiomics to elucidate inflammatory bowel disease risk factors and pathways

Nat Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2022 Jun;19(6):399-409. doi: 10.1038/s41575-022-00593-y. Epub 2022 Mar 17.


Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is an immune-mediated disease of the intestinal tract, with complex pathophysiology involving genetic, environmental, microbiome, immunological and potentially other factors. Epidemiological data have provided important insights into risk factors associated with IBD, but are limited by confounding, biases and data quality, especially when pertaining to risk factors in early life. Multiomics platforms provide granular high-throughput data on numerous variables simultaneously and can be leveraged to characterize molecular pathways and risk factors for chronic diseases, such as IBD. Herein, we describe omics platforms that can advance our understanding of IBD risk factors and pathways, and available omics data on IBD and other relevant diseases. We highlight knowledge gaps and emphasize the importance of birth, at-risk and pre-diagnostic cohorts, and neonatal blood spots in omics analyses in IBD. Finally, we discuss network analysis, a powerful bioinformatics tool to assemble high-throughput data and derive clinical relevance.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Chronic Disease
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases* / diagnosis
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases* / epidemiology
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases* / genetics
  • Intestines
  • Microbiota*
  • Risk Factors