At Risk Populations for Rheumatoid Arthritis

Brief description of study

In this research proposal, we intend to study the role intestinal bacteria and bacteria on other body surfaces, such as the skin, in the development of inflammatory arthritides, including rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and with a concentrated effort to recruit from an at risk population. Given the fact that RA concordance in MZ twins is =15%, we hypothesize that among individuals with similar genetic background, environmental and/or microbiome factors are predictive for RA development, or protective in healthy, at risk populations. Samples of blood, urine, skin swab and stool will be assessed to establish clinical, immunologic and microbiome differences among populations at risk for RA and other related autoimmune diseases, including, but not limited to: relatives of patients diagnosed with RA (including twins), psoriatic arthritis (PsA), multiple sclerosis (MS), ankylosing spondylitis (AS); and individuals with skin psoriasis (but no arthritis), periodontal disease, as well as cigarette smokers. Individuals with a confirmed diagnosis of skin psoriasis (but not arthritis) will be considered ‘at risk’ for the development of Psoriatic Arthritis and be the sole family member to be enrolled and followed at six month intervals over a five year period.




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