Host-microbe interactions have shaped the genetic architecture of inflammatory bowel disease

Luke Jostins, Stephan Ripke, Rinse K Weersma, Richard H Duerr, Dermot P McGovern, Ken Y Hui, James C Lee, L Philip Schumm, Yashoda Sharma, Carl A Anderson, Jonah Essers, Mitja Mitrovic, Kaida Ning, Isabelle Cleynen, Emilie Theatre, Sarah L Spain, Soumya Raychaudhuri, Philippe Goyette, Zhi Wei, Clara AbrahamJean-Paul Achkar, Tariq Ahmad, Leila Amininejad, Ashwin N Ananthakrishnan, Vibeke Andersen, Jane M Andrews, Leonard Baidoo, Tobias Balschun, Peter A Bampton, Alain Bitton, Gabrielle Boucher, Stephan Brand, Carsten Büning, Ariella Cohain, Sven Cichon, Mauro D'Amato, Dirk De Jong, Kathy L Devaney, Marla Dubinsky, Cathryn Edwards, David Ellinghaus, Lynnette R Ferguson, Denis Franchimont, Karin Fransen, Richard Gearry, Michel Georges, Christian Gieger, Jürgen Glas, Talin Haritunians, International IBD Genetics Consortium (IIBDGC), Alastair Forbes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3470 Citations (Scopus)


Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, the two common forms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), affect over 2.5 million people of European ancestry, with rising prevalence in other populations. Genome-wide association studies and subsequent meta-analyses of these two diseases as separate phenotypes have implicated previously unsuspected mechanisms, such as autophagy, in their pathogenesis and showed that some IBD loci are shared with other inflammatory diseases. Here we expand on the knowledge of relevant pathways by undertaking a meta-analysis of Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis genome-wide association scans, followed by extensive validation of significant findings, with a combined total of more than 75,000 cases and controls. We identify 71 new associations, for a total of 163 IBD loci, that meet genome-wide significance thresholds. Most loci contribute to both phenotypes, and both directional (consistently favouring one allele over the course of human history) and balancing (favouring the retention of both alleles within populations) selection effects are evident. Many IBD loci are also implicated in other immune-mediated disorders, most notably with ankylosing spondylitis and psoriasis. We also observe considerable overlap between susceptibility loci for IBD and mycobacterial infection. Gene co-expression network analysis emphasizes this relationship, with pathways shared between host responses to mycobacteria and those predisposing to IBD.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)119–124
Number of pages6
Issue number7422
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2012


  • Colitis, Ulcerative
  • Crohn Disease
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Genome, Human
  • Genome-Wide Association Study
  • Haplotypes
  • Host-Pathogen Interactions
  • Humans
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases
  • Mycobacterium
  • Mycobacterium Infections
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis
  • Phenotype
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide
  • Reproducibility of Results

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