How does genotype influence disease phenotype in inflammatory bowel disease?


Inflammatory bowel diseases (Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis) are chronic immunologically mediated diseases of the gut. Advances in genetics have revolutionized our understanding of the pathogenesis of these conditions with 163 risk loci identified, encompassing a variety of immunologic functions. There is substantial heterogeneity in the natural history of these diseases with respect to disease onset, course, and progression to complications. There are also significant variations in response to therapies and susceptibility to therapy-related and disease-related complications. An important need in the field is to identify predictors of disease course, complications, and likelihood of response and adverse events to allow for targeted therapeutic decision making. The genotype of an individual in constant and non-modifiable, and thus could potentially fulfill the role of important predictors of these outcomes. In this review, we discuss the existing literature on the prediction of various disease phenotypes in Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis using underlying genotype. We also identify gaps in the literature and suggest future directions for research. There is need for large, multi-institutional, and international collaborative consortia with efficient and detailed cohort accrual, phenotypic definition, genotyping, and dynamic assessments of external (e.g., diet) and internal (microbiome) environment to allow us to progress toward personalized and precision medicine in the management of these complex diseases.

Inflammatory Bowel Diseases