Crohn’s disease is linked to arthritis by E coli bacteria – new findings

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Chron's, joint pain, spondyloarthritis, E coli, arthritis information, arthritis digestA type of E. coli bacteria found in people with Crohn’s disease can trigger inflammation associated with spondyloarthritis, according to research in Science Translational Medicine.

Crohn’s disease is a type of inflammatory bowel disease that causes abdominal pain and diarrhea; people affected may also experience joint pain.

In Crohn’s disease, which affects about 115,000 people in the UK, the immune system can attack the bowels and the musculoskeletal system, leading to spondyloarthritis, a painful condition that affects the spine and joints.

Now new technology has helped a research group identify a type of E. coli bacteria found in people with Crohn’s disease that can trigger inflammation associated with spondyloarthritis.

“Our findings may allow us to develop diagnostic tools to stratify Crohn’s patients with spondyloarthritis symptoms as well as patients at risk,” highlights senior author Dr Randy Longman. “In irritable bowel disease therapy, this is a step toward precision medicine – to be able to clinically and biologically characterize a subtype of disease and then select the medicine that would best fit the patient with this type of inflammation. The results of this innovative study will start to inform our decision of which of our available medications will give the best chance of helping the individual patient.”

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