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Antimicrobial Antibodies In Celiac Disease: Trick Or Treat?

August 27, 2009
World Journal of Gastroenterology
A new study found that anti-glycan antibodies were associated with celiac disease. Celiac patients with multiple anti-glycan antibodies of high titers had more frequently malabsorption than other symptoms. Contrary, presence of the anti-microbial antibodies did not show familial aggregation or association with mutations in NOD2/CARD15. Presence of anti-glycan antibodies in celiac disease is supposed secondary to the impaired gut barrier leading to sustained exposure to the gut microflora constituents via translocation.

Anti-microbial antibody formation has been reported in celiac disease. Relatively high positivity rates were observed for the conventional antibodies, for example, ASCA, anti-OmpW, and anti-I2, and they were known to decrease after a successful gluten free-diet.

The importance of newly discovered inflammatory bowel disease-associated antibodies (including anti-glycan antibodies and anti-OMP) in celiac disease is not sure. The presence of anti-microbial antibodies in relation to clinical presentation of the disease and NOD2/CARD15 mutations was also not investigated.

A research article to be published on August 21, 2009 in the World Journal of Gastroenterology addresses this question. Hungarian researchers from the University of Debrecen in Debrecen and the Semmelweis University in Budapest have shown in a well-characterized CD cohort that the anti-glycan antibody positivity is a common feature of celiac disease at the time of diagnosis and is lost after long-term gluten-free diet. The positivity rate and titers at diagnosis are as high as observed in Crohn's disease. The presence of anti-glycan antibodies is associated with the presenting symptoms, especially with severe malabsorption but not with mutations in NOD2/CARD15. No higher prevalence of anti-microbial antibodies is observed in the unaffected, first-degree relatives of this patient cohort.

Although the new data presented in the article may add new pieces to the puzzle of the anti-microbial antibody formation, the authors believe that it also assist to re-evaluate recently proposed genetically drived mechanism. Serological response to various microbial antigens might be considered a universal marker of the enhanced translocation of the gut microflora through the impaired small bowel mucosa both in celiac and Crohn's disease patients.

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Journal Reference:

  1. Papp M, Foldi I, Altorjay I, Palyu E, Udvardy M, TumpekJ, Sipka S, Korponay-Szabo IR, Nemes E, Veres G, Dinya T, Tordai A, Andrikovics H, Norman GL, Lakatos PL. Antimicrobial antibodies in celiac disease: Trick or treat? World J Gastroenterol, 2009; 15(31): 3891-3900

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World Journal of Gastroenterology. "Antimicrobial Antibodies In Celiac Disease: Trick Or Treat?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 August 2009. <>.
World Journal of Gastroenterology. (2009, August 27). Antimicrobial Antibodies In Celiac Disease: Trick Or Treat?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 7, 2017 from
World Journal of Gastroenterology. "Antimicrobial Antibodies In Celiac Disease: Trick Or Treat?." ScienceDaily. (accessed May 7, 2017).