Ruminants (cattle and sheep) with Mycobacterium avium (MAP)-induced paratuberculosis (ptb), the ruminant model of Crohn’s disease (CD), exhibit pancreatic specific autoantibodies (PAB) against GP2 but not against CUZD1. Since anti-Saccharomyces cerevisiae antibodies (ASCAs) is a CD marker, we tested MAP-infected ptb ruminants for ASCA, and compared them with ruminants lacking evidence of anti-MAP serology or with ruminants, which were positive for anti-GP2 antibodies.
A total of 98 samples from ruminants (48 cattle and 50 sheep) were studied. IgG anti-MAP antibodies, and CD-related ASCA and anti-GP2 antibodies were tested by modified ELISAs.
Nine cattle (18.75%) and 20 sheep (40%) were suffered from ptb. ASCA antibodies were present in 21/48 (43.7%) cattle and 10/50 (20%) sheep while anti-GP2 antibodies were present in 14/48 (29.2%) cattle, and 8/50 (16%) sheep. ASCA antibodies were more prevalent in anti-MAP antibody positive (14/29, 48.3%) than in anti-MAP negative ruminants (17/69, 24.6%, P=0.022) and also in anti-GP2 antibody positive (13/23, 56.5%) than in anti-GP2 negative ruminants (18/75, 24%, P=0.003). No association between ASCA and anti-MAP antibody concentrations were found (r=0.159, P=0.117). A significant association between ASCA and anti-GP2 antibody concentration were observed (r=0.211 and P=0.037).
ASCA are present in a significant proportion of ruminants with ptb and correlate with anti-GP2 antibody positivity, a finding further supporting the notion that Crohn’s disease and ptb share common immunological mechanisms of antigen-driven loss of self-tolerance.

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