Biomarkers in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are needed to help in disease diagnosis, prognosis, and assessment of disease activity. The best serologic markers to date measure antibody responses to normal commensal flora. These antibody responses can provide prognostic information as well as clues to disease pathogenesis. There remains room for additional biomarkers to clarify the diagnosis for certain patients with indeterminate colitis or small bowel Crohn's disease (CD) with protean manifestations. In this issue of the Journal, Adams and colleagues describe the presence of antibodies against Bacteroides vulgatus in CD patients. This additional marker may complement existing disease markers. Future studies should address whether these antibodies can help categorize patients with indeterminate colitis or predict severity of CD.
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