Gut 56:1394-1403 doi:10.1136/gut.2006.108043
  • Inflammatory bowel disease

New serological markers in inflammatory bowel disease are associated with complicated disease behaviour

  1. Marc Ferrante1,
  2. Liesbet Henckaerts1,
  3. Marie Joossens1,
  4. Marie Pierik1,
  5. Sofie Joossens1,
  6. Nir Dotan2,
  7. Gary L Norman3,
  8. Rom T Altstock2,
  9. Kristel Van Steen4,
  10. Paul Rutgeerts1,
  11. Gert Van Assche1,
  12. Séverine Vermeire1
  1. 1Department of Gastroenterology, University Hospital Gasthuisberg, Leuven, Belgium
  2. 2Glycominds Ltd, Lod, Israel
  3. 3INOVA Diagnostics Inc, San Diego, CA, USA
  4. 4Department of Applied Mathematics and Computer Science, University Gent, Belgium
  1. Correspondence to:
    Professor Séverine Vermeire
    Department of Gastroenterology, University Hospital Gasthuisberg, Herestraat 49, B-3000 Leuven, Belgium; severine.vermeire{at}
  • Accepted 18 April 2007
  • Revised 11 April 2007
  • Published Online First 24 April 2007


Background and aims: Several antibodies have been associated with Crohn’s disease and are associated with distinct clinical phenotypes. The aim of this study was to determine whether a panel of new antibodies against bacterial peptides and glycans could help in differentiating inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and whether they were associated with particular clinical manifestations.

Methods: Antibodies against a mannan epitope of Saccharomyces cerevisiae (gASCA), laminaribioside (ALCA), chitobioside (ACCA), mannobioside (AMCA), outer membrane porins (Omp) and the atypical perinuclear antineutrophilic cytoplasmic antibody (pANCA) were tested in serum samples of 1225 IBD patients, 200 healthy controls and 113 patients with non-IBD gastrointestinal inflammation. Antibody responses were correlated with the type of disease and clinical characteristics.

Results: 76% of Crohn’s disease patients had at least one of the tested antibodies. For differentiation between Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, the combination of gASCA and pANCA was most accurate. For differentiation between IBD, healthy controls and non-IBD gastrointestinal inflammation, the combination of gASCA, pANCA and ALCA had the best accuracy. Increasing amounts and levels of antibody responses against gASCA, ALCA, ACCA, AMCA and Omp were associated with more complicated disease behaviour (44.7% versus 53.6% versus 71.1% versus 82.0%, p < 0.001), and a higher frequency of Crohn’s disease-related abdominal surgery (38.5% versus 48.8% versus 60.7% versus 75.4%, p < 0.001).

Conclusions: Using this new panel of serological markers, the number and magnitude of immune responses to different microbial antigens were shown to be associated with the severity of the disease. With regard to the predictive role of serological markers, further prospective longitudinal studies are necessary.


  • Published Online First 24 April 2007