Medicine (St Vincent's) - Theses

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    Inflammatory bowel disease in the East and West: clinical, serological and microbiological studies
    Prideaux, Lani ( 2013)
    The incidence of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in Australia is equal to the highest in the world, in contrast to the incidence in Asia which is low but rapidly increasing. The pathophysiology of IBD relates to the mucosal immune response to antigenicstimulation from the gut microbiota, on a background of genetic susceptibility. Immigrants from low to high incidence areas, have a high incidence of IBD, suggesting that exposure to new environmental factors is a key factor in the development of IBD. “Westernization” of lifestyle and industrialization in Asia likely also plays a role. Our gut microbiota is affected by our genes, our immune system, and environmental factors. Patients with IBD have altered gut microbiota. Little is known about the gut microbiota of IBD patients in the Asia, and in particular whether it is changing to Western patterns, especially after migration. Initially the clinical characteristics and management of IBD patients in Australia and Asia were compared. Then gut microbiota was assessed and compared, using state-of-the-art metagenomic techniques, within and between China and Australia (countries with different IBD incidence) both in the healthy, and IBD populations in subjects of Caucasian and Asian (Chinese) ethnicity. Serological antibodies to microbial antigens, and environmental factors were also assessed. Studying clinical characteristics of disease, the gut microbiota and serological antibodies to microbial antigens in populations with changing incidence offers great hope of identifying potentially important aetiological factors in IBD.