Primary Outcome Measures:
- Differences in the intestinal microbiota composition between pouch patients with and without pouchitis [ Time Frame: 24 months. ]
A phylogenetic microarray will be used to characterize the luminal and mucosal microbiota composition (based on the SSU rRNA gene)of pouch patients with and without pouchitis. Anticipated results are the identification of specific bacterial profiles, genera and/or species dat are discriminating between subgroups.
Secondary Outcome Measures:
- The expression of defensins in the intestinal mucosa [ Time Frame: 24 months ]
The mRNA expression levels of human alfa and beta-defensins in intestinal mucosal biopsies will be assessed by real time PCR
- The intestinal permeability [ Time Frame: 24 months. ]
The epithelial integrity will be studied by the multiple sugar test to assess small intestinal and whole gut permeability.
- Inflammatory mediators [ Time Frame: 24 months ]
Cytokine levels will be studied in serum and in intestinal biopsies. Furthermore, a histological evaluation and the MPO activity will be studied in these biopsies and calprotectin levels will be determined in 'fecal' sampels.
- The expression of tight-junction associated proteins [ Time Frame: 24 months. ]
The intestinal tight junctions-associated proteins will be studied by immune staining of intestinal biopsies and mRNA levels in intestinal biopsies using real time PCR. Biopsies will be collected from standardised locations.
In the prospective study the following biospecimens will be collected: faeces, serum, plasma, leucocytes, urine, intestinal biopsies and mucus