Introduction Gut microflora plays an important role in the normal function of the human intestine. A shift in the normal gut flora, termed dysbiosis, has an impact on many health aspects including inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). IBS is characterised by abnormal gastrointestinal motility associated with psychosocial factors. Increasing evidence supports a role of dysbiosis in the pathophysiology of IBS, potentially through the impact of microflora on neuroendocrine pathways. Anecdotal evidence suggests that onset of symptoms of IBS are associated with an episode of gastroenteritis, which ostensibly may cause a shift in the intestinal microflora. We therefore sought to establish whether there is an association between historical gastroenteritis (caused by Salmonella enteritidis or Campylobacter jejuni infection) and IBS occurrence.
Methods Indirect ELISA was used to measure levels of IgA and IgG to Campylobacter jejuni and Salmonella enteritidis in 90 patients, either with IBS (30), IBD (30) and controls (30). Data was analysed using appropriate statistical tests to establish whether antibody levels were significantly raised in IBS patients.
Results We will determine whether IgG and/or IgA serum antibodies are elevated in the three patient groups. ELISA detection techniques have been optimised and data collection is still in progress, results have yet to be unblinded. Results will be available and discussed at the meeting.
Conclusion This study explores the impact of dysbiosis on intestinal health and wellbeing. If post-infectious dysbiosis is associated with IBS, this may provide a rationale for changes to the treatment of IBS.
Disclosure of Interest None Declared.