Mycobacterium paratuberculosis and Mycobacterium avium subsp. silvaticum DNA cannot be detected by PCR in Crohn's disease tissue

Gastroenterol Clin Biol. Aug-Sep 1998;22(8-9):675-8.

Abstract

Background: The etiology of Crohn's disease remains unknown. A putative mycobacterial cause of the disease is still controversial.

Aims: To assess the mycobacterial hypothesis in Crohn's disease using a polymerase chain reaction technique.

Patients and methods: Nested polymerase chain reaction with primers on the 16S-rRNA coding region (16S-rDNA) and with primers specific both to the insertion sequences (IS) 900, and IS 901/902 were used to amplify Mycobacterium paratuberculosis or Mycobacterium avium subsp. silvaticum DNA in frozen endoscopic intestinal biopsies or surgical resection specimens from patients with Crohn's disease (n = 47: 25 endoscopic biopsies and 22 surgical resection samples, +/- lymph nodes), ulcerative colitis (n = 27), and non inflammatory bowel diseases (n = 20: colonic tumors and diverticulitis). Positive as well as negative controls were used throughout the study.

Results: All strains of Mycobacterium paratuberculosis and Mycobacterium avium subsp. silvaticum tested were positive for both primer systems. Of the 94 biopsies tested, 5 (2 Crohn's disease, 1 ulcerative colitis and 2 controls) were positive with the 16S-rDNA primers but did not correspond to Mycobacterium paratuberculosis or Mycobacterium avium subsp. silvaticum. None of the specimens was positive with the IS primers.

Conclusion: These results do not support the hypothesis that Mycobacterium paratuberculosis, or Mycobacterium avium subsp. silvaticum play a role in Crohn's disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Crohn Disease / microbiology*
  • DNA, Bacterial / isolation & purification*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mycobacterium avium / genetics*
  • Mycobacterium avium / isolation & purification
  • Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis / genetics*
  • Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis / isolation & purification
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction

Substances

  • DNA, Bacterial