A combination of circulating microRNA-375-3p and chemokines CCL11, CXCL12, and G-CSF differentiate Crohn’s disease and intestinal tuberculosis

Article Type

Research Article

Publication Title

Scientific Reports


Differentiation of Crohn’s disease (CD) from intestinal tuberculosis (ITB) is a big challenge to gastroenterologists because of their indistinguishable features and insensitive diagnostic tools. A non-invasive biomarker is urgently required to distinguish ITB/CD patients particularly in India, a TB endemic region, where CD frequency is increasing rapidly due to urbanization. Among the three differentially expressed miRNAs obtained from small RNA transcriptomic profiling of ileocaecal/terminal ileal tissue of ITB/CD patients (n = 3), only two down-regulated miRNAs, miR-31-5p, and miR-215-5p showed comparable data in qRT-PCR. Out of which, only miR-215-5p was detectable in the patient’s plasma, but there was no significant difference in expression between ITB/CD. On the other hand, miR-375-3p, the pulmonary TB specific marker was found in higher amount in the plasma of ITB patients than CD while reverse expression was observed in the ileocaecal/terminal ileal tissues of the same patients. Next, using Bioplex pro-human cytokine 48-plex screening panel, only three chemokines, Eotaxin-1/CCL11, SDF-1α/CXCL12, and G-CSF have noted significantly different levels in the serum of ITB/CD patients. ROC analysis has revealed that compared to a single molecule, a combination of miR-375-3p + Eotaxin-1/CCL11 + SDF-1α /CXCL12 + G-CSF showed a better AUC of 0.83, 95% CI (0.69–0.96) with 100% specificity and positive predictive value while sensitivity, negative predictive value, and accuracy were 56%, 69%, and 78% respectively in distinguishing ITB from CD. This study suggests that a combination of plasma markers shows better potential in differentiating ITB from CD than a single marker and this panel of markers may be used for clinical management of ITB/CD patients.



Publication Date



Open Access, Gold, Green

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