1999 年 18 巻 2 号 p. 93-99
To evaluate whether intestinal microecology is altered in Crohn's disease, we studied the metabolic activity of faecal flora and its bacteriology. Metabolic activity was analysed by measuring the activities of β-glucuronidase, β-glucosidase and urease in faeces, based on enzyme-substrate reactions, from 24 patients (aged 5-51 years) with Crohn's disease as compared to 16 controls (4-62 years). Faecal bacteriology was determined by analysing bacterial cellular fatty acid profiles by gas-liquid chromatography assay in a subgroup of the study subjects. In Crohn's disease the mean (95% confidence interval) activities of β-glucuronidase: 1.6 (0.9-2.2) nmol/min/mg protein, β-glucosidase: 3.9 (2.4-5.3) and urease: 6.1 (2.9-9.2) were significantly lower than in controls: 3.6 (2.3-4.9), 7.6 (5.6-9.5), 18.1 (11.1-25.0), respectively, p < 0.004. The faecal enzyme activities in Crohn's disease were associated with disease activity: the more active the disease, the lower the enzyme activity. Also faecal bacterial cellular fatty acid profiles in Crohn's disease patients with active disease tended to differ from controls. We suggest that in active Crohn's disease intestinal microecology is altered, in particular, its metabolic activity, which may have a role in the pathogenesis of Crohn's disease.