Copyright ©The Author(s) 2017. Published by Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.
World J Gastroenterol. Oct 7, 2017; 23(37): 6747-6749
Published online Oct 7, 2017. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v23.i37.6747
Microbial dysbiosis in spouses of ulcerative colitis patients: Any clues to disease pathogenesis?
Dario Sorrentino
Dario Sorrentino, IBD Center, Division of Gastroenterology, Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine, Roanoke, VA 24016, United States
Dario Sorrentino, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medical Sciences, University of Udine School of Medicine, 33100 Udine, Italy
Author contributions: Sorrentino D solely wrote the manuscript
Conflict-of-interest statement: The author declares no conflict of interest related to this publication.
Open-Access: This article is an open-access article which was selected by an in-house editor and fully peer-reviewed by external reviewers. It is distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/
Correspondence to: Dario Sorrentino, MD, FRACP, Professor of Medicine, IBD Center, Division of Gastroenterology, Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine, 3 Riverside Circle, Roanoke, VA 24016, United States. drsorrentino@carilionclinic.org
Telephone: +1-540-5261057 Fax: +1-540-9859418
Received: June 22, 2017
Peer-review started: June 24, 2017
First decision: July 13, 2017
Revised: July 30, 2017
Accepted: August 25, 2017
Article in press: August 25, 2017
Published online: October 7, 2017
Core Tip

Core tip: Dysbiosis in inflammatory bowel diseases is common. However, microbial dysbiosis could be a consequence, rather than cause of the disease state. In this study the authors detected dysbiosis and altered microbial metabolism not only in ulcerative colitis patients but also in their healthy cohabiting partners. Therefore, the microbiome might be partially transferred from ulcerative colitis patients to healthy individuals. Since spouses of ulcerative colitis patients do not have an increased risk of developing the disease this study suggests that dysbiosis might be an effect rather than the cause of the disease. Overall, the precise role of the microbiome in inflammatory bowel disease etiology remains unknown.