Campylobacter concisus is an oral bacterium that is associated with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) including Crohn's disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC). C. concisus consists of two genomospecies (GS) and diverse strains. This study aimed to identify molecular markers to differentiate commensal and IBD-associated C. concisus strains. The genomes of 63 oral C. concisus strains isolated from patients with IBD and healthy controls were examined, of which 38 genomes were sequenced in this study. We identified a novel secreted enterotoxin B homologue, Csep1. The csep1 gene was found in 56% of GS2 C. concisus strains, presented in the plasmid pICON or the chromosome. A six-nucleotide insertion at the position 654-659?bp in csep1 (csep1-6bpi) was found. The presence of csep1-6bpi in oral C. concisus strains isolated from patients with active CD (47%, 7/15) was significantly higher than that in strains from healthy controls (0/29, P?=?0.0002), and the prevalence of csep1-6bpi positive C. concisus strains was significantly higher in patients with active CD (67%, 4/6) as compared to healthy controls (0/23, P?=?0.0006). Proteomics analysis detected the Csep1 protein. A csep1 gene hot spot in the chromosome of different C. concisus strains was found. The pICON plasmid was only found in GS2 strains isolated from the two relapsed CD patients with small bowel complications. This study reports a C. concisus molecular marker (csep1-6bpi) that is associated with active CD.
Journal: Emerging microbes and infections