With the theme Advancing Knowledge, Improving Care, Barcelona played host to the 12th Congress of ECCO (European Crohn’s and Colitis Organisation) on inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). This congress is an unmissable event for scientists and medical specialists from around the world wishing to explore the latest research and clinical care trends in the field.
GoodGut, which began clinical trials of a non-invasive system for detecting IBD (RAID-CD) at Dr. Josep Trueta University Hospital in Girona, with a population of 100 patients, was one of the companies taking part in the congress. IBD includes both Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
Specifically, two scientific posters were presented by Joan Amoedo, researcher in a team through the Industrial Doctorates Scheme of the Generalitat of Catalonia. The most relevant result on the first poster, which was one of the most consulted, described the excellent capacity of the phylogroups (PHGI and PHGII) to discriminate between ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease patients exclusively affecting the colon.
The most significant result on the second poster was that the PHGI and PHGII have proven to be good active phase indicators, providing for the possibility of a different activity marker for each disease. In this case, as Joan Amoedo explains, “it was detected that an increased number of patients was required to validate the markers as a parameter of activity for both diseases”. As a result, the corresponding clinical trials for the differential diagnosis and monitory of inflammatory bowel disease, and the use of these markers to predict the response to anti-TNF treatments such as post-operative recurrence are currently being conducted at Dr. Josep Trueta University Hospital in Girona, Bellvitge University Hospital and Germans Trias i Pujol University Hospital.
Both diseases are chronic and tend to appear in young people (before the age of 30). An estimated 2.5–3 million people in Europe are affected by IBD. In Spain, Crohn’s disease affects around 137.2 people out of every 1000 and, according to ACCU, ulcerative colitis is more common than Crohn’s disease (58% compared to 42%).
Currently IBD is diagnosed with the support of clinical indices and inflammatory parameters such as calprotectin. However these parameters are not sufficiently accurate and generally do not determine when there will be a flare-up of the disease. As a result, a colonoscopy is always necessary, despite being a highly invasive technique with risk of death. In order to diagnose and monitor these chronic diseases the GoodGut system makes it possible to consider one kilogram of bacteria living inside the body which, when unbalanced, are responsible for causing inflammatory response. The RAID-CD can thus be used for non-invasive identification in faeces of the specific microbiological signature for each disease and the degree of dysbioisis can be measured to monitor the disease correctly and provide effective treatment guidelines.