CARD15 polymorphisms are associated with anti-Saccharomyces cerevisiae antibodies in caucasian Crohn's disease patients


Bert Vander Cruyssen, Department of Rheumatology, Ghent University Hospital, B-9000 Gent, Belgium.


Carriage of CARD15 gene polymorphisms and the serological marker anti-Saccharomyces cerevisiae antibodies (ASCA) are two markers for Crohn's disease (CD). Similar phenotypes have been associated with both markers. In the present study we analysed whether both markers were associated with each other and, if so, whether this association could be explained by a direct link or by an indirect association with those phenotypes. Therefore, we included 156 consecutive Caucasian CD patients and assessed the prevalence of the three common single nucleotide polymorphisms in the CARD15 gene. Serum samples were analysed for IgA and IgG ASCA by ELISA. CD patients with CARD15 polymorphisms were more frequently ASCA positive (OR 2·7 (1.4–5.2); P = 0·002) and had higher titres for ASCA IgA (P = 0·005) and ASCA IgG (P < 0·001) compared to patients carrying the wild type polymorphisms. Multivariate analysis demonstrated that this association was independent from ileal disease, penetrating disease and stricturing disease, the need for resective bowel surgery, familial cases, smoking habits and early age at onset. Homozygotes or compound heterozygotes for CARD15 polymorphisms had significantly more frequent ASCA positivity compared to single heterozygotes (OR 9·1 (1.1–74.2), Pc (corrected P-value) = 0·030). These data indicate that there is a significant association between the carriage of CARD15 polymorphisms and ASCA, independent of the described phenotypes. Moreover, ASCA positivity is more frequent in CD patients carrying 2 CARD15 polymorphisms compared to single heterozygotes.