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E. coli pathogens in Stool Prior to the Development of IBD


The Distribution of Gastrointestinal Pathogens on Stool PCR Prior to the Development of IBD

November 25, 2020

Sanskriti Varma, Peter H Green, Suneeta Krishnareddy

Department of Medicine, New York Presbyterian Columbia University Medical Center

We investigated the distribution of pathogens on stool gastrointestinal (GI) polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing in those who subsequently developed inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

Infectious gastroenteritis has been associated with later development of IBD.

This retrospective study includes patients of all ages hospitalized for diarrhea with positive GIPCR panel and subsequently a new diagnosis of IBD [confirmed by chart review and International Classification of Disease, Clinical Modification code for Crohn's disease (CD) or ulcerative colitis (UC)], between March 2015 to September 2019 at our quaternary care institution. Patients with IBD diagnosis before GIPCR were excluded. Descriptive statistics characterized the distribution of microbial pathogens in relation to later IBD diagnosis.

Fifty-four participants were eligible (UC 44%; CD 56%). Median age at time of IBD diagnosis was 35 years [interquartile range (IQR) 18 to 65]. Median time between GIPCR and IBD diagnosis was 3 months (IQR 2 to 9) for all patients. When stratified by organism class, median time to diagnosis was 6 months (IQR 2 to 10) for patients with bacteria, 3 months (IQR 1 to 8) for patients with viruses, and 1 month (IQR 0.75 to 1) for patients with parasites (log-rank P=0.001). Sixty-nine unique pathogens (83% bacteria) were identified on all tests. Escherichia coli was the most common species (71%), of which enteropathogenic E. coli was predominant (38%).

The E. coli species, specifically enteropathogenic E. coli, may be implicated in the development of IBD. This is one of the first studies to evaluate the results of stool GIPCR in the link between the microbiome and IBD pathogenesis.