Crohn’s diease is a chronic inflammatory disease of the gastrointestinal tract. Its exact cause is still to be elucidated but a mix of environmental and genetic factors are known to be important. In this study, investigators looked at identical twins microbial composition from their faecal material. They were able to identify differences between those with cron’s and those without, inparticular tyrosine pathways were affected. Whilst the long term interest is in early diagnosis the authors recognised that the health of the bacterial community in the gastrointestinal tract impacts on the genetic susceptibility.
In summary, this study demonstrates the potential of metabolomics to provide a means to differentiate disease phenotypes and to give new insights into the etiology of Crohn’s disease. Our study also emphasizes the importance of metabolites produced by the gut microbiota for a healthy gut environment.
Jansson J, Willing B, Lucio M, Fekete A, Dicksved J, et al. 2009 Metabolomics Reveals Metabolic Biomarkers of Crohn’s Disease. PLoS ONE 4(7): e6386. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0006386 View Article