The gut microbiota and inflammatory bowel disease: From exploration to clinical translation

Valerie Collij

    Research output: ThesisThesis fully internal (DIV)

    684 Downloads (Pure)


    Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, are chronic diseases of the gastrointestinal tract in which patients experience periods of inflammation alternated by periods of remission. In this thesis the role of the gut microbiota in IBD has been investigated. The gut microbiota – all micro-organisms such as bacteria, viruses and funghi which reside in the gastrointestinal tract – play an important role in our health. These micro-organisms have important functions in our body, including the digestion of food and by interacting with our immune system.

    In the first part of this thesis bacteria and metabolic functions were identified associated with IBD by using the sequencing technique “metagenomic sequencing”. The location of the inflammation has been identified to be associated with gut microbial changes and the gut microbiota can be used to distinguish between patients with IBD and patients with irritable bowel syndrome, a condition in which patients experience gastrointestinal complaints without the presence of inflammation. In the second part of the thesis the influence of medication on the gut microbiota composition has been investigated. In here, antibiotics, laxatives, proton-pump inhibitors and metformin have been identified to largely influence the gut microbiota. Additionally, the potential of the gut microbiota in predicting treatment response of the biological vedolizumab in patients with IBD have been shown. These findings contribute to unravel the role of the gut microbiota in IBD and also to translate these findings towards clinical practice by using the gut microbiota in the diagnostics, monitoring and treatment of IBD.
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Awarding Institution
    • University of Groningen
    • Weersma, Rinse, Supervisor
    • Yang-Fu, Jingyuan, Supervisor
    • Vich Vila, Arnau, Co-supervisor
    Award date3-Feb-2021
    Place of Publication[Groningen]
    Publication statusPublished - 2021

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