Patients with inflammatory bowel disease suffer from a chronic inflammation of the intestinal tract. The aetiology of the intestinal inflammation is still unknown but is thought to arise due to a dysregulated immune response to gut microbiota. The disease cannot be cured, although many IBD patients benefit from antibody therapy, but the effect is highly variable and at least 30% of the patients undergoing this treatment experience no clinical improvement. Today, it is not possible to predict the patients’ disease course or response to biological therapy. Hence, there is an urgent need for biomarkers predicting clinical disease course and therapeutic outcome in patients with IBD.
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is considered to be one of the most frequent clinical problems in gastroenterology with an estimated prevalence in the community between 10 to 25 %. Despite the high frequency, effective therapeutic strategies for IBS are limited with average therapeutic gains over placebo and there is a clear unmet medical need for treating IBS.
We hypothesize that gut microbiota and the immune system influence disease course and therapeutic outcome in the patients with IBD and IBS, respectively. The aim of this project is therefore to establish how gut microbiota and immune activity influence disease course and identify microbiotic and immunological indicators of therapy outcome.