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  • Jefferson Adams

    What's the Connection Between Infection, Antibiotic Exposure, and Celiac Disease Risk?

    Jefferson Adams


    Reviewed and edited by a celiac disease expert.

      New study shows that early infection and/or antibiotic exposure increase the odds of developing celiac disease.


    Caption: Image: CC BY-SA 2.0--Pitel

    Celiac.com 12/26/2019 - Earlier studies have suggested a relationship between infection, associated antibiotic exposure, and the risk of celiac disease. However, there hasn't been a comprehensive evaluation of those studies that might help to deliver a clear answer.

    To address this, a team of researchers recently conducted a meta-analysis to investigate the relationship between infection, associated antibiotic exposure, and celiac disease risk.



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    They began looking for relevant studies by searching the PubMed, Embase, and Cochrane databases for articles published through April 2019. They used random effects models to determine overall pooled estimates and 95% confidence intervals (CIs). 

    Their meta-analysis contained 19 observational studies, including 15 on infection and six on antibiotic exposure. They found that any infection was associated with an increased risk of celiac disease later in life. The heterogeneity among studies was high enough to put the I2 at 94%.

    An analysis of subgroups indicates that celiac risk is independent of infection type, timing of exposure, or site of infection. Antibiotic exposure was also associated with new celiac disease cases. 

    These results provide strong evidence that early infection and/or antibiotic exposure increase the odds of developing celiac disease, and suggest that disruption of intestinal immune processes or gut microbiota may play a role in celiac disease development. 

    These findings could eventually influence clinical treatment and help to prevent celiac disease. Certainly, the rise of antibiotic use to treat infections mirrors the rise in cases of celiac disease over the last six or seven of decades.

    However, further study is needed to fully eliminate non-causal explanations for these connections. That is, they haven't fully discounted the possibility that there is another cause for the connection. Stay tuned for more developments on this and related stories.

    Read more at: wiley.com

     

    The research team included Hai-yin Jiang, Xue Zhang, Yuan-yue Zhou, Chun-min Jiang, and Yu-dan Shi. They are variously affiliated with the Collaborative Innovation Center for Diagnosis and Treatment of Infectious Diseases, State Key Laboratory for Diagnosis and Treatment of Infectious Diseases, The First Affiliated Hospital, School of Medicine, Zhejiang University, the Department of Child Psychiatry, Hangzhou Seventh People’s Hospital,  Department of Pediatrics, The Affiliated Hangzhou First People’s Hospital, Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Hangzhou and Department of Chinese Internal Medicine, Taizhou First People’s Hospital, Taizhou, China.


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    I would like someone to better explain the interplay between genetic predispoal to Celiac... in relation/concert to the sort of information in this article. It is very confusing for moderately science-savvy readers to understand where the line between nature and nurture lies.  PLEASE HELP CLARIFY THIS!

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    This is true for me and my 2 children with Celiac. My other child who doesn’t have Celiac was not as sick as often and didn’t have as many antibiotics prescribed either. My oldest is 20 and I wish MD would’ve told me the importance of probiotics. 

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    10 hours ago, sc'Que? said:

    I would like someone to better explain the interplay between genetic predispoal to Celiac... in relation/concert to the sort of information in this article. It is very confusing for moderately science-savvy readers to understand where the line between nature and nurture lies.  PLEASE HELP CLARIFY THIS!

    This page might help with understanding the conflict in the possible causes/understanding of Celiac and it's triggers and/or development.

    https://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/condition/celiac-disease#genes

    At one point, under the 'Causes' drop down, the article states:

    " Almost all people with celiac disease have specific variants of the HLA-DQA1 and HLA-DQB1 genes, which seem to increase the risk of an inappropriate immune response to gliadin. However, these variants are also found in 30 percent of the general population, and only 3 percent of individuals with the gene variants develop celiac disease. "

    So, part gene, part environment, part other factors... .  I think no one is sure yet, but the study mentioned in the article we're responding to (connection to antibiotics, etc) is very broad and still extremely early to draw any conclusions.  It's a rare person that hasn't had an infection or some antibiotic treatment these days - we don't all have Celiac, though.

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  • About Me

    Jefferson Adams is Celiac.com's senior writer and Digital Content Director. He earned his B.A. and M.F.A. at Arizona State University, and has authored more than 2,500 articles on celiac disease. His coursework includes studies in science, scientific methodology, biology, anatomy, medicine, logic, and advanced research. He previously served as SF Health News Examiner for Examiner.com, and devised health and medical content for Sharecare.com. Jefferson has spoken about celiac disease to the media, including an appearance on the KQED radio show Forum, and is the editor of the book "Cereal Killers" by Scott Adams and Ron Hoggan, Ed.D.

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