Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) like Crohn’s disease affects and severely damages the bowel of almost 1.3% of US citizens every year. Such diseases contract from the lining of the digestive tract and follow till the inflammation and obstruction of large intestine and rectum. As the symptoms of these diseases include pretty common indispositions (diarrhea, abdominal pain, fatigue, weight loss), they can often be left mistreated and the disease much more aggravated.
IBDs have no cure. But to decrease exacerbation of the same and to avoid incorrect treatment, researchers in Cambridge (UK) have developed a new blood test, which can detect the disease as early as possible. Early detection can help one to look for the proper medication and antibiotics hence dwindling off the risks of bowel infection and possibly, death.
CD8T cells are a type of immune cells in our body which can help one to detect the severity of IBD on its early stages. However, a major problem arises in isolating the CD8T cells with their signatures. Identification of the signature with only the available technology at hand is difficult, but not impossible.
Dr. James Lee and Prof Ken Smith with their hardworking research team have come up with a test which uses the CD8T signature, along with a touch of machine learning and a whole blood assay called qPCR (quantitative polymerase chain reaction). qPCR is an efficient and trustworthy tool which has proved to be useful in detecting and analyzing the severity of IBD.
This test searches for biomarkers similar to that of cancer in early detection of IBDs. The senior author of the team, Prof. Smith agrees to the fact of IBD is a very debilitating disease. However, he firmly believes in this new test, as the face of medicinal science in the treatment of IBD has now shifted from the “one size fits all” approach to a more personalized and a cognitive approach to treating patients.