"The Cause for a Cure for Crohn's Disease"
Treatment & diagnosis of Crohn's Disease
Diagnosis of human MAP infection
Currently, there are no available diagnostic tests which have been proven to be capable of diagnosing MAP infection in humans. (We need to state that at the outset because we are asked quite often about where patients can go to get blood tests for diagnosing MAP infection.)
If Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis (MAP) is the cause of some cases of Crohn's disease, then it may be possible to diagnose that MAP infection, in one of the following ways
Diagnostics are Improving
Heretofore, one of the problems plaguing research has been the inadequate tests for diagnosing Human MAP infection. In recent years there have only been a few researchers dedicating themselves to this crucial area of research, and we wish to thank them for their persistence, in spite of many frustrating years of working with shoestring budgets. Thankfully, funding is becoming available for this area of research, and we are very optimistic that great strides will be made regarding diagnostics development.
Due to collaborative efforts of researchers at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and globally, it is exciting to report that this crucial area of research is "moving forward" to quote one CDC representative. We anticipate there will be many new developments to report in the coming months given there is intensified interest, coupled with research monies, in this area.
Important Research in Diagnosing Human MAP Infection
While the following bulleted items are by no means a summary of ALL work done in the area of MAP infection, these are among the most significant:
The Need for Clinical Trials
Although several groups of investigators are attempting to develop diagnostics which can diagnose MAP infection in Crohn's disease, none of these tests have been subjected to sufficient clinical trials to prove their effectiveness. Thus, these tests cannot yet be relied upon to diagnose Crohn's disease or MAP infection. Just as drug treatments must be subjected to blinded and controlled trials before their use can be recommended, so also diagnostic tests must be subjected to clinical trials that are
Since there are diagnostic tests under development for diagnosing MAP infection in Crohn's disease, it is important that double-blind, controlled, multi-center clinical trials of such diagnostic tests begin as soon as possible.
The Future of Diagnostics
Diagnostics are being improved at a rapid pace, and we are optimistic that reliable tests will become available in the not-too-distant future. These tests have the potential to be less invasive, more reliable and more cost-effective than existing diagnostics for Crohn's disease.
Improved diagnostics will be a huge stride forward in that once MAP can be accurately diagnosed, an important foundation will be laid for treating patients and eliminating MAP from the environment.
Source: http://www.crohns.org/treatment/diagnosis.htm Contact PARA: http://www.crohns.org/contact.htm
Paratuberculosis Awareness & Research Association, 1999-2003.