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Link shown between Crohn's disease and virus
Date:6/27/2013

atrician Niklas Nystrm, the pathologist Alkwin Wanders, virus researchers Gun Frisk and Oskar Skog, the molecular biologist Mats Nilsson, and the geneticist Ulf Gyllensten at Uppsala University and Uppsala University Hospital, along with cell biologists Jonas Fuxe and Tove Berg the paediatrician Yigael Finkel at Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm.

This unique composition, with complementary clinical and scientific expertise, has been extremely fruitful for our studies, says Alkwin Wanders.

In the present study the researchers investigated whether the RNA virus were present in children with Crohns disease. They focused in particular on the prevalence of enteroviruses, a group of RNA viruses that are known to infect the intestinal mucous lining.

The results showed significant amounts of enteroviruses in the intestines of all of the children with Crohns disease, whereas the control group had no or only minimal amounts of enteroviruses in their intestines. Similar results were obtained using two different methods. Enteroviruses were found not only in intestinal mucous linings but also in so-called nerve cell ganglia in deeper segments of the intestinal wall. Receptors for a group of enteroviruses were also found in both the intestinal mucous linings and nerve cell ganglia, which may explain how the virus can make its way into the nerve system in the intestine.

Another interesting finding is that the enterovirus could be thought to be stored in nerve cells in the intestine and to spread to different parts of the intestine via nerve fibres. This would explain both the fact that the disease is periodic (comes and goes) and the fact that it often affects multiple segments of the intestines, says Alkwin Wanders.

The present study comprises nine children with advanced Crohn's disease and fifteen children with incipient Crohn's disease symptoms. The research now wants to go on to examine larger groups of patients and more control
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Contact: Alkwin Wanders
alkwin.wanders@igp.uu.se
46-076-226-9430
Uppsala University
Source:Eurekalert

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