Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis (MAP) has been controversially linked with Crohn's disease (CD). Detection of MAP in CD has been highly variable, and one explanation might be the genetic heterogeneity of this syndrome. Many of the single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) linked with CD are contained within genes that are associated with bacterial handling in general, and some are specifically implicated in susceptibility to mycobacterial disease. We tested a cohort of IBD patients (n = 149) to determine whether the presence of MAP was associated with a selection of these SNPs. Blood samples from CD patients (n = 84), ulcerative colitis (UC, n = 65) patients and healthy controls (n = 55) were examined for the presence of MAP and SNPs in ATG16L1, IL12B, NOD2/CARD15, NKx2-3, IL23R and IRGM. Statistical analysis was then used to determine whether there was any association between the presence of MAP and these SNPs. MAP, rs2241880 (ATG16L1) and rs10045431 (IL12B) were found to be significantly associated with CD. The presence of MAP was not related to the status of the SNPs in ATG16L1 or IL12B. We have found no evidence for the contribution of these SNPs to the presence of MAP in CD patients.
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