Anti-Saccharomyces cerevisiae antibodies in Behçet's disease - a familial study

A. Monselise, A. Weinberger, Y. Monselise, A. Fraser, J. Sulkes, I. Krause

Department of Medicine B, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel-Aviv University, Israel

2006 Vol.24, N°5 ,Suppl.42 - PI 0087, PF 0090
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Rheumatology Article



To evaluate the rate and clinical correlations of antibodies against saccharomyces cerevisiae (ASCA) among healthy family members of patients with Behçet`s disease (BD).
Twenty-one BD patients and 52 healthy family members (HFM) were studied. Data from medical files and from patients` interviews was collected, regarding the entire spectrum of disease manifestations. Each family member was personally interviewed and a questionnaire composed of BD symptoms and their temporal relation was compiled. IgA- and IgG-ASCA levels, determined by ELISA, were studied in all BD patients and their family members, the results were compared to a group of 23 healthy controls (HC).
Eight (38.1%) BD patients were ASCA positive, compared to five among HFM (9.6%) and none among healthy unrelated controls (p=0.001). Mean IgG and IgA-ASCA levels were significantly higher in BD patients compared with HFM and HC groups (p = 0.002 and p = 0.03, respectively). No correlation was found between positive ASCA tests and any of BD-related manifestations. Mean IgG-ASCA levels were significantly lower in HFM compared to BD patients (p = 0.03), yet IgA-ASCA levels were similar in HFM and BD. Mean IgG and IgA-ASCA levels were higher in HFM compared with healthy unrelated controls (p=0.09 and p=0.03). No difference was found in ASCA rates between relatives of BD patients who had positive or negative ASCA tests, or between spouses of BD patients and genetically related relatives. In HFM with recurrent oral ulcers there was a positive correlation between titers of IgA-ASCA and the yearly number of oral ulcers episodes (p = 0.01), and mean ulcers healing time (p = 0.01). IgG-ASCA titers correlated with yearly number of aphtae episodes (p = 0.03).
The results of this study confirm our previous observation on a high prevalence of ASCA in BD. ASCA levels are also increased in healthy family members of BD patients, and are probably influenced by genetic as well as environmental factors. ASCA in HFM were significantly associated with a more severe oral ulcer disease. The role of ASCA as a marker for predisposition to develop future BD remains to be evaluated.

PMID: 17067434 [PubMed]