Ulcerative Colitis Portal

The Role of the Gut Microbiota in Ulcerative Colitis
NIH Human Microbiome Demonstration Project.

The Role of the Gut Microbiota in Ulcerative Colitis is an HMP demonstration project addressing the hypothesis that the gut microbiota plays a critical role in the pathogenesis of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). There already exists strong clinical, genetic, and experimental evidence that support the merits of this hypothesis. To circumvent the confounding effects of mucosal inflammation and medications that independently bias microbial selection, we are studying a unique clinical model of ulcerative colitis (pouchitis) where the development and status of the gut microbiota can be assessed prospectively and relative to the outcome of disease. Pouchitis is an inflammatory condition of a surgically-created pseudorectum that is unique to ulcerative colitis and does not occur when this procedure is performed for treatment of other underlying diseases. Since the incidence of developing pouchitis within one year is over 50%, the likelihood of detecting antecedent changes in microbiota is high. In addition, we can explore the cause of antibiotic treatment failure which occurs in 10-15% of patients. Collectively, these studies will provide insights into how enteric microbiota cause or contribute to the etiopathogenesis of human ulcerative colitis.