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Italian Researchers Develop Ultra-Sensitive Intestinal Anti-Tissue Transglutaminase Celiac Disease Screening Technique

J Autoimmun. 2004 Feb;22(1):65-72

Celiac.com 01/29/2004 - A new cloning technique developed by Italian researchers may lead to more accurate diagnoses of celiac disease in borderline patients, including those who are asymptomatic. The technique screens for anti-tTG antibodies in the intestinal mucosa by utilizing a cloning process to amplify the antibodies, thus allowing for their detection even in cases where only minute amounts are present. The new technique is similar to that developed and long utilized by Dr. Kenneth Fine of Enterolab, in that both techniques look for the presence of antibodies in the intestinal mucosa rather than in the blood. The new technique also has the potential to easily screen large numbers of people, which, if the researchers are correct, will lead to a celiac disease diagnostic explosion, as those who are missed by current screening methods will be properly diagnosed. The number of celiacs who are missed using current screening techniques is a topic of debate, and Dr. Fines methods have demonstrated that "in normal people without specific symptoms or syndromes , the stool test is just under three times more likely to be positive than blood tests," as reported in the Winter 2004 edition of Scott-Free newsletter. It would be very interesting to see how many people test positive in a healthy population using this new technique.

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Below is the abstract of the article:

One-step cloning of anti tissue transglutaminase scFv from subjects with celiac disease.
Celiac disease is characterized by intestinal mucosal injury and malabsorption precipitated by dietary exposure to gluten of some cereals with a prominent role being played by gliadins, specific antigenic determinants found in wheat gluten. Patients suffering from celiac disease have serum antibodies recognizing gliadin, as well as the Endomysial autoantigen tissue transglutaminase. Phage display antibody libraries have revealed ectopic production of anti-transglutaminase antibodies by intestinal lymphocytes with a biased use of the VH5 antibody gene family. Here we report a study on the pairing of VH and VL families in the antibodies to transglutaminase. Our results led to the construction of small phage display antibody libraries based on the amplification of the two genes in the VH5 family from intestinal lymphocytes. This method can be used for the rapid characterization of the anti-transglutaminase response in a potentially large number of subjects including asymptomatic patients whose serum antibodies may be undetectable.

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Hey All, I was wondering if anyone has tried gluten free pizza? I'm specifically talking about the store bought kind. I'm looking for a cheat meal - I've been eating mainly non processed fresh food but I need a little something to stay sane every now and then. I'm from New York so i'd say I have a pretty high standard of pizza lol. Are there any good frozen ones that are worth eating? I don't think i've ever eaten a frozen pizza in my life but I don't particularly have the time right now to make my own. Also while I'm posting I figure i'll ask. I'm going to this event with my friend at her work. It's like a dinner party. How do I navigate this situation food wise? Should I just eat at home and get drinks there or plan to eat there but take snacks just in case nothing seems safe? Thanks guys!

Hi Dalek, JMG has it right, any food with wheat, rye or barley is a gluten containing food. In addition, watch out for malt, which is sometimes made from barley. That includes the malt in beers.

Interesting!! I'm going to share that with her dr. I'll have to look into the gluten sensitivity more myself, the main reason we started testing is due to poor growth. As I learned more, I've seen several symptoms that could be explained by celiac. I like feeling informed so I'll know what to talk to the dr about or ask about. I think those are the results we are waiting for still, I couldn't remember the name.

Call your doctor's office and ask them to relay your request to the doctor to amend the test request, they should be able to sort it without an additional meeting and delay. Worth a try anyway I think the Biocard tests TTG IGA and it may give you an indication. Do post your results here as I'm sure others will be interested in its effectiveness. If it's negative however remember that there are several celiac tests for a reason. Some test on one, some on another etc... However my guess is your doctor will dismiss them and want their own testing. That's the usual experience.

Waiting for the EMA, I bet. Keep advocating! this is interesting. If celiac disease is excluded, she might still have a gluten sensitivity. There just is not specific test for that. http://theglutensummittranscripts.s3.amazonaws.com/Dr_Umberto_Volta.pdf