Immunoglobulin A Targets a Unique Subset of the Microbiota in Inflammatory Bowel Disease


The immunopathogenesis of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) has been attributed to a combination of host genetics and intestinal dysbiosis. Previous work in a small cohort of IBD patients suggested that pro-inflammatory bacterial taxa are highly coated with secretory immunoglobulin IgA. Using bacterial fluorescence-activated cell sorting coupled with 16S rRNA gene sequencing (IgA-SEQ), we profiled IgA coating of intestinal microbiota in a large cohort of IBD patients and identified bacteria associated with disease and treatment. Forty-three bacterial taxa displayed significantly higher IgA coating in IBD compared with controls, including 8 taxa exhibiting differential IgA coating but similar relative abundance. Patients treated with anti-TNF-α therapies exhibited dramatically altered microbiota-specific IgA responses compared with controls. Furthermore, increased IgA coating of Oscillospira was associated with a delay in time to surgery. These results demonstrate that investigating IgA responses to microbiota can uncover potential disease-modifying taxa and reveal improved biomarkers of clinical course in IBD.

Cell Host & Microbe