Mycobacterium paratuberculosis in intestinal tissue from patients with Crohn's disease demonstrated by a nested primer polymerase chain reaction

Scand J Gastroenterol. 1994 Oct;29(10):923-9. doi: 10.3109/00365529409094864.


Background: The etiology of Crohn's disease remains unknown, but current research has concentrated on autoimmunity and/or mycobacterial infection. The polymerase chain reaction (PCR) enables the detection of genetic material even when very few microorganisms are present.

Methods: A nested primer PCR for detection of a multi-copy insertional element (IS900) specific for Mycobacterium paratuberculosis was applied to DNA extracted from fresh and from paraffin-embedded intestinal tissue obtained from patients undergoing surgery.

Results: In fresh intestinal tissue from 11 of 24 patients with Crohn's disease, from 2 of 10 patients with ulcerative colitis, and from 3 of 28 patients with other colonic disorders, specific M. paratuberculosis DNA was found. In paraffin-embedded Crohn's disease tissue the presence of specific M. paratuberculosis DNA was also increased.

Conclusions: Whether the presence of M. paratuberculosis is connected to the inflammatory bowel disease or is a mere coincidence cannot be stated. We find this presence interesting and encouraging for further investigations.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Controlled Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Base Sequence
  • Colitis, Ulcerative / drug therapy
  • Colitis, Ulcerative / microbiology
  • Colon / microbiology*
  • Colonic Diseases / drug therapy
  • Colonic Diseases / microbiology
  • Crohn Disease / drug therapy
  • Crohn Disease / microbiology*
  • DNA, Bacterial / analysis*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Ileum / microbiology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis / genetics
  • Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis / isolation & purification*
  • Paraffin Embedding
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction*
  • Prednisolone / therapeutic use


  • DNA, Bacterial
  • Prednisolone