The gastrointestinal immune system has evolved to avoid and counteract the invasion of pathogens. To allow a strong inflammatory immune response during infection but avoid tissue damage there is a need for effective immune regulation. Defects in immune regulation lead to immunopathology such as inflammatory bowel disease or celiac disease. In collaboration with the Sanger Center Cambridge and the Wellcome Trust Center of Human Genomics (WTCHG) Oxford we investigate patients with pediatric onset of IBD using next generation sequencing.
About one fifth of all patients with IBD present with initial symptoms during childhood and adolescents. In particular in the very young children patients an underlying immunodeficiency may cause IBD-like symptoms. The analysis of immune deviation in children with IBD and IBD-like symptoms may contribute to the understanding of the complex puzzle of molecular mechanisms involved in IBD.