What Role Does Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis Play in Crohn’s Disease?

  • Horacio BachEmail author
Intra-abdominal Infections, Hepatitis, and Gastroenteritis (T Steiner, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Intra-abdominal Infections, Hepatitis, and Gastroenteritis


Crohn’s disease (CD) is a chronic, debilitating inflammatory bowel disease with no etiological agent yet identified. Studies have demonstrated that the bacterium Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis (MAP) is present in a high percentage of CD patients. Although MAP has been isolated from human specimens, current techniques fail to show the presence of MAP in 100 % of tissues or biopsies obtained from CD patient lesions, and thus MAP cannot meet Koch’s postulate as the etiological agent of CD. In this report, the effect of genetic and immune factors as well as the presence of MAP as a potential environmental factor is analyzed.


Inflammatory bowel disease Crohn’s disease Johne’s disease Macrophages Mycobacterium avium ssp. paratuberculosis Serological test Genetic factors Virulence factors Signal transduction Therapy Tyrosine phosphatase Tyrosine kinase Phagosome-lysosome fusion 


Compliance with Ethics Guidelines

Conflict of Interest

Horacio Bach has no conflicts of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by the author.


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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of MedicineUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada

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