Food antigens are thought to play a vital role in the initiation and perpetuation of Crohn’s disease (CD). The main purpose of this study was to evaluate the potential association of serum food specific IgG antibodies and small bowel (SB) inflammation in CD patients.
We conducted a prospective observational study with 96 CD patients. Demographic, disease-related data and inflammatory parameters were collected. Serum food IgG antibodies were measured using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Capsule endoscopy was performed to detect SB inflammation quantified by the Lewis Score.
Seventy-eight of (81.3%) CD patients were detected positive for at least one food-specific antibody. The five most prevalent food antibodies in CD patients were tomato, egg, corn, rice, and soybean. Patients with SB inflammation had a higher positive rate of food IgG antibodies (P = 0.010) and more IgG-positive food items (P = 0.010) than those without. Specifically, patients with SB inflammation were more likely to have positive food-specific IgG against egg (P = 0.014), corn (P = 0.014), and wheat (P = 0.048). Additionally, the number of positive food IgGs ≥ 3 and elevated ESR were independently associated with concurrent SB inflammation (P = 0.015 and P = 0.013, respectively).
Our study confirmed that CD patients with SB inflammation had a higher positive rate of food IgG antibodies and more IgG-positive food items. The number of food positive IgGs ≥ 3 and elevated ESR were independently associated with concurrent SB inflammation.
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The data that support the findings of this study are available from the corresponding author Chengdang Wang (firstname.lastname@example.org) upon reasonable request.
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We acknowledge Ye XU and Qing Song LIN for their help in the statistical analysis and thank Wei Wei ZHENG and Yi Juan LIU at First Affiliated Hospital of Fujian Medical University for capsule endoscopy examination and scoring.
This study was partly funded by Natural Science Fundation of Fujian Province (No. 2021J02037 and 2022J01231) and Fujian Provincial Health Technology Project (No. 2020QNA050).
The authors declare no competing interests.
Ethics approval and consent to participate
Each patient signed an informed consent, and the study protocol was approved by the Ethics Committee of the First Affiliated Hospital of Fujian Medical University, China (MRCTA, ECFAH of FMU  332), in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki.
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Chen, J., Chen, H., Huang, Y. et al. Serum food specific IgG antibodies are associated with small bowel inflammation in patients with Crohn’s disease. Eur J Clin Nutr (2023). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41430-023-01343-2