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1.  Maize Prolamins Could Induce a Gluten-Like Cellular Immune Response in Some Celiac Disease Patients 
Nutrients  2013;5(10):4174-4183.
Celiac disease (CD) is an autoimmune-mediated enteropathy triggered by dietary gluten in genetically prone individuals. The current treatment for CD is a strict lifelong gluten-free diet. However, in some CD patients following a strict gluten-free diet, the symptoms do not remit. These cases may be refractory CD or due to gluten contamination; however, the lack of response could be related to other dietary ingredients, such as maize, which is one of the most common alternatives to wheat used in the gluten-free diet. In some CD patients, as a rare event, peptides from maize prolamins could induce a celiac-like immune response by similar or alternative pathogenic mechanisms to those used by wheat gluten peptides. This is supported by several shared features between wheat and maize prolamins and by some experimental results. Given that gluten peptides induce an immune response of the intestinal mucosa both in vivo and in vitro, peptides from maize prolamins could also be tested to determine whether they also induce a cellular immune response. Hypothetically, maize prolamins could be harmful for a very limited subgroup of CD patients, especially those that are non-responsive, and if it is confirmed, they should follow, in addition to a gluten-free, a maize-free diet.
PMCID: PMC3820067  PMID: 24152750
celiac disease; cellular immune response; maize prolamins; zeins
2.  Detection of continuing gluten ingestion in treated coeliac patients. 
British Medical Journal  1975;1(5956):486-488.
To assess the incidence and effects of continuing gluten ingestion in coeliac disease 51 adult coeliac patients were studied after four to 132 (mean 63) months on a prescribed gluten-free diet. Each patient completed a prospective dietary questionnaire, underwent a repeat jejunal biopsy, and gave serum for gluten antibody estimation. Altogether 65% of patients were still ingesting gluten, often inadvertently. Direct questioning on dietary habits had failed to uncover most of this consumption. The gluten antibody test proved a useful screening test for detecting continuing gluten ingestion and patients with both persistent subtotal villous atrophy and gluten antibodies were almost certain to be taking large amounts ( more than 2 g/day). The presence of persistent partial villous atrophy was found, however, to be an unreliable guide to gluten intake.
PMCID: PMC1672594  PMID: 1125587
3.  Can Consumers Trust Web-Based Information About Celiac Disease? Accuracy, Comprehensiveness, Transparency, and Readability of Information on the Internet 
Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease that affects approximately 1% of the US population. Disease is characterized by damage to the small intestinal lining and malabsorption of nutrients. Celiac disease is activated in genetically susceptible individuals by dietary exposure to gluten in wheat and gluten-like proteins in rye and barley. Symptoms are diverse and include gastrointestinal and extraintestinal manifestations. Treatment requires strict adherence to a gluten-free diet. The Internet is a major source of health information about celiac disease. Nonetheless, information about celiac disease that is available on various websites often is questioned by patients and other health care professionals regarding its reliability and content.
To determine the accuracy, comprehensiveness, transparency, and readability of information on 100 of the most widely accessed websites that provide information on celiac disease.
Using the search term celiac disease, we analyzed 100 of the top English-language websites published by academic, commercial, nonprofit, and other professional (nonacademic) sources for accuracy, comprehensiveness, transparency, and reading grade level. Each site was assessed independently by 3 reviewers. Website accuracy and comprehensiveness were probed independently using a set of objective core information about celiac disease. We used 19 general criteria to assess website transparency. Website readability was determined by the Flesch-Kincaid reading grade level. Results for each parameter were analyzed independently. In addition, we weighted and combined parameters to generate an overall score, termed website quality.
We included 98 websites in the final analysis. Of these, 47 (48%) provided specific information about celiac disease that was less than 95% accurate (ie, the predetermined cut-off considered a minimum acceptable level of accuracy). Independent of whether the information posted was accurate, 51 of 98 (52%) websites contained less than 50% of the core celiac disease information that was considered important for inclusion on websites that provide general information about celiac disease. Academic websites were significantly less transparent (P = .005) than commercial websites in attributing authorship, timeliness of information, sources of information, and other important disclosures. The type of website publisher did not predict website accuracy, comprehensiveness, or overall website quality. Only 4 of 98 (4%) websites achieved an overall quality score of 80 or above, which a priori was set as the minimum score for a website to be judged trustworthy and reliable.
The information on many websites addressing celiac disease was not sufficiently accurate, comprehensive, and transparent, or presented at an appropriate reading grade level, to be considered sufficiently trustworthy and reliable for patients, health care providers, celiac disease support groups, and the general public. This has the potential to adversely affect decision making about important aspects of celiac disease, including its appropriate and proper diagnosis, treatment, and management.
PMCID: PMC3626119  PMID: 23611901
Celiac disease; health information; website accuracy; website comprehensiveness; website transparency; website quality
4.  Effect of gluten free diet on immune response to gliadin in patients with non-celiac gluten sensitivity 
BMC Gastroenterology  2014;14:26.
Non-celiac gluten sensitivity is a syndrome characterized by gastrointestinal and extra-intestinal symptoms occurring in a few hours/days after gluten and/or other wheat protein ingestion and rapidly improving after exclusion of potential dietary triggers. There are no established laboratory markers for non-celiac gluten sensitivity, although a high prevalence of first generation anti-gliadin antibodies of IgG class has been reported in this condition. This study was designed to characterize the effect of the gluten-free diet on anti-gliadin antibodies of IgG class in patients with non-celiac gluten sensitivity.
Anti-gliadin antibodies of both IgG and IgA classes were assayed by ELISA in 44 non-celiac gluten sensitivity and 40 celiac disease patients after 6 months of gluten-free diet.
The majority of non-celiac gluten sensitivity patients (93.2%) showed the disappearance of anti-gliadin antibodies of IgG class after 6 months of gluten-free diet; in contrast, 16/40 (40%) of celiac patients displayed the persistence of these antibodies after gluten withdrawal. In non-celiac gluten sensitivity patients anti-gliadin antibodies IgG persistence after gluten withdrawal was significantly correlated with the low compliance to gluten-free diet and a mild clinical response.
Anti-gliadin antibodies of the IgG class disappear in patients with non-celiac gluten sensitivity reflecting a strict compliance to the gluten-free diet and a good clinical response to gluten withdrawal.
PMCID: PMC3926852  PMID: 24524388
Anti gliadin antibodies; Non-celiac gluten sensitivity; Celiac disease
5.  Use of health care services and pharmaceutical agents in coeliac disease: a prospective nationwide study 
BMC Gastroenterology  2012;12:136.
Approximately 1% of the population suffer from coeliac disease. However, the disease is heavily underdiagnosed. Unexplained symptoms may lead to incremented medical consultations and productivity losses. The aim here was to estimate the possible concealed burden of untreated coeliac disease and the effects of a gluten-free diet.
A nationwide cohort of 700 newly detected adult coeliac patients were prospectively evaluated. Health care service use and sickness absence from work during the year before diagnosis were compared with those in the general population; the data obtained from an earlier study. Additionally, the effect of one year on dietary treatment on the aforementioned parameters and on consumption of pharmaceutical agents was assessed.
Untreated coeliac patients used primary health care services more frequently than the general population. On a gluten-free diet, visits to primary care decreased significantly from a mean 3.6 to 2.3. The consumption of medicines for dyspepsia (from 3.7 to 2.4 pills/month) and painkillers (6.8-5.5 pills/month) and the number of antibiotic courses (0.6-0.5 prescriptions/year) was reduced. There were no changes in hospitalizations, outpatient visits to secondary and tertiary care, use of other medical services, or sickness absence, but the consumption of nutritional supplements increased on treatment.
Coeliac disease was associated with excessive health care service use and consumption of drugs before diagnosis. Dietary treatment resulted in a diminished burden to the health care system and lower use of on-demand medicines and antibiotic treatment. The results support an augmented diagnostic approach to reduce underdiagnosis of coeliac disease.
Trial registration NCT01145287
PMCID: PMC3503835  PMID: 23016889
Coeliac disease; Gluten-free diet; Burden of illness; Health care service use; Sickness absence
6.  Trace gluten contamination may play a role in mucosal and clinical recovery in a subgroup of diet-adherent non-responsive celiac disease patients 
BMC Gastroenterology  2013;13:40.
Patients with persistent symptoms and/or villous atrophy despite strict adherence to a gluten-free diet (GFD) have non-responsive celiac disease (NRCD). A subset of these patients has refractory celiac disease (RCD), yet some NRCD patients may simply be reacting to gluten cross-contamination. Here we describe the effects of a 3-6 month diet of whole, unprocessed foods, termed the Gluten Contamination Elimination Diet (GCED), on NRCD. We aim to demonstrate that this diet reclassifies the majority of patients thought to have RCD type 1 (RCD1).
We reviewed the records of all GFD-adherent NRCD patients cared for in our celiac center from 2005-2011 who were documented to have started the GCED. Response to the GCED was defined as being asymptomatic after the diet, with normal villous architecture on repeat biopsy, if performed.
Prior to the GCED, all patients were interviewed by an experienced dietitian and no sources of hidden gluten ingestion were identified. 17 patients completed the GCED; 15 were female (88%). Median age at start of the GCED was 42 years (range 6-73). Fourteen patients (82%) responded to the GCED. Six patients met criteria for RCD prior to the GCED; 5 (83%) were asymptomatic after the GCED and no longer meet RCD criteria. Of the 14 patients who responded to the GCED, 11 (79%) successfully returned to a traditional GFD without resurgence of symptoms.
The GCED may be an effective therapeutic option for GFD-adherent NRCD patients. Response to this diet identifies a subgroup of patients, previously classified as RCD1, that is not truly refractory to dietary treatment. Preventing an inaccurate diagnosis of RCD1 avoids immunotherapy. Most patients are able to return to a traditional GFD without return of symptoms.
PMCID: PMC3598839  PMID: 23448408
Celiac disease; Refractory celiac disease; Refractory sprue; Non-responsive celiac disease; Gluten-free diet
7.  Delay to celiac disease diagnosis and its implications for health-related quality of life 
BMC Gastroenterology  2011;11:118.
To determine how the delay in diagnosing celiac disease (CD) has developed during recent decades and how this affects the burden of disease in terms of health-related quality of life (HRQoL), and also to consider differences with respect to sex and age.
In collaboration with the Swedish Society for Coeliacs, a questionnaire was sent to 1,560 randomly selected members, divided in equal-sized age- and sex strata, and 1,031 (66%) responded. HRQoL was measured with the EQ-5D descriptive system and was then translated to quality-adjusted life year (QALY) scores. A general population survey was used as comparison.
The mean delay to diagnosis from the first symptoms was 9.7 years, and from the first doctor visit it was 5.8 years. The delay has been reduced over time for some age groups, but is still quite long. The mean QALY score during the year prior to initiated treatment was 0.66; it improved after diagnosis and treatment to 0.86, and was then better than that of a general population (0.79).
The delay from first symptoms to CD diagnosis is unacceptably long for many persons. Untreated CD results in poor HRQoL, which improves to the level of the general population if diagnosed and treated. By shortening the diagnostic delay it is possible to reduce this unnecessary burden of disease. Increased awareness of CD as a common health problem is needed, and active case finding should be intensified. Mass screening for CD might be an option in the future.
PMCID: PMC3233515  PMID: 22060243
8.  Health-related quality of life in adolescents with screening-detected celiac disease, before and one year after diagnosis and initiation of gluten-free diet, a prospective nested case-referent study 
BMC Public Health  2013;13:142.
Celiac disease (CD) is a chronic disorder in genetically predisposed individuals in which a small intestinal immune-mediated enteropathy is precipitated by dietary gluten. It can be difficult to diagnose because signs and symptoms may be absent, subtle, or not recognized as CD related and therefore not prompt testing within routine clinical practice. Thus, most people with CD are undiagnosed and a public health intervention, which involves screening the general population, is an option to find those with unrecognized CD. However, how these screening-detected individuals experience the diagnosis and treatment (gluten-free diet) is not fully understood. The aim of this study is to investigate the health-related quality of life (HRQoL) of adolescents with screening-detected CD before and one year after diagnosis and treatment.
A prospective nested case-referent study was done involving Swedish adolescents who had participated in a CD screening study when they were in the sixth grade and about 12 years old. Screening-detected adolescents (n = 103) and referents without CD who participated in the same screening (n = 483) answered questionnaires at the time of the screening and approximately one year after the screening-detected adolescents had received their diagnosis that included the EQ-5D instrument used to measure health status and report HRQoL.
The HRQoL for the adolescents with screening-detected CD is similar to the referents, both before and one year after diagnosis and initiation of the gluten-free diet, except in the dimension of pain at follow-up. In the pain dimension at follow-up, fewer cases reported problems than referents (12.6% and 21.9% respectively, Adjusted OR 0.50, 95% CI 0.27-0.94). However, a sex stratified analysis revealed that the significant difference was for boys at follow-up, where fewer screening-detected boys reported problems (4.3%) compared to referent boys (18.8%) (Adjusted OR 0.17, 95% CI 0.04-0.73).
The findings of this study suggest that adolescents with unrecognized CD experience similar HRQoL as their peers without CD, both before and one year after diagnosis and initiation of gluten-free diet, except for boys in the dimension of pain at follow-up.
PMCID: PMC3585471  PMID: 23414483
Adolescents; Celiac disease; EQ-5D; Health-related quality of life; Screening; Screening-detected celiac disease
9.  Gluten-free diet may alleviate depressive and behavioural symptoms in adolescents with coeliac disease: a prospective follow-up case-series study 
BMC Psychiatry  2005;5:14.
Coeliac disease in adolescents has been associated with an increased prevalence of depressive and disruptive behavioural disorders, particularly in the phase before diet treatment. We studied the possible effects of a gluten-free diet on psychiatric symptoms, on hormonal status (prolactin, thyroidal function) and on large neutral amino acid serum concentrations in adolescents with coeliac disease commencing a gluten-free diet.
Nine adolescents with celiac disease, aged 12 to 16 years, were assessed using the semi-structured K-SADS-Present and Lifetime Diagnostic interview and several symptom scales. Seven of them were followed at 1 to 2, 3, and 6 months on a gluten-free diet.
Adolescent coeliac disease patients with depression had significantly lower pre-diet tryptophan/ competing amino-acid (CAA) ratios and free tryptophan concentrations, and significantly higher biopsy morning prolactin levels compared to those without depression. A significant decrease in psychiatric symptoms was found at 3 months on a gluten-free diet compared to patients' baseline condition, coinciding with significantly decreased coeliac disease activity and prolactin levels and with a significant increase in serum concentrations of CAAs.
Although our results of the amino acid analysis and prolactin levels in adolescents are only preliminary, they give support to previous findings on patients with coeliac disease, suggesting that serotonergic dysfunction due to impaired availability of tryptophan may play a role in vulnerability to depressive and behavioural disorders also among adolescents with untreated coeliac disease.
PMCID: PMC555756  PMID: 15774013
10.  New and Developing Therapies for Celiac Disease 
The treatment for celiac disease, a removal of gluten in the diet, is safe and effective for the vast majority of patients. There is a large body of evidence that the diagnosis and treatment of those with celiac disease ensures considerable health benefits. Although a gluten-free diet is the principal treatment for celiac disease, it is relatively expensive, inconvenient and difficult to adhere to. For these reasons, there is interest in developing alternative therapies. Emerging research for the treatment of celiac disease has focused on three areas: to decrease gluten exposure, to modify intestinal permeability and to modulate immune activation. Therapies developed thus far consist of enzymes designed to digest gluten and the use of inhibitors of paracellular permeability to decrease the migration of gluten peptides into the lamina propria. Other potential therapeutic maneuvers include the binding of gluten by polymers, the use of tissue transglutaminase (TTG) inhibitors and DQ2 or DQ8 blockers, or modulation of cytokine production. While all represent new and exciting therapies, an ideal therapy should have virtually no side effects similar to a gluten-free diet. A pharmaceutical agent may be used on an intermittent basis, such as following occasional gluten exposure or on a chronic basis to mitigate the effects of potential inadvertent ingestion of gluten.
PMCID: PMC3002532  PMID: 21180558
celiac disease; gluten; gliadin; prolyl endopeptidases; therapy
11.  Compliance of adolescents with coeliac disease with a gluten free diet. 
Gut  1991;32(8):881-885.
A cohort of 123 patients with coeliac disease, diagnosed in the first three years of life and followed up for at least 10 years, was reevaluated during the teenage period in terms of compliance with the diet and clinical state. Mucosal structure and lymphocytes were assessed in small intestinal biopsy specimens obtained from 36 subjects, by computerised image analysis. Of these adolescents with coeliac disease, 65% were adhering to a strict gluten free diet, 11.4% were on a gluten free diet but with occasional gluten intake, and 23.6% were on a gluten containing diet. Clinical symptoms occurred more frequently in patients on a gluten containing diet, but not in patients on a semi-strict diet. Occasional intake of small amounts (0.06-2 g/day) of gluten did not produce increased concentrations of antigliadin antibodies but resulted in an appreciably increased crypt epithelial volume and expanded crypt intraepithelial lymphocyte population.
PMCID: PMC1378956  PMID: 1885070
12.  Long-Term Consumption of Oats in Adult Celiac Disease Patients 
Nutrients  2013;5(11):4380-4389.
Many celiac disease patients tolerate oats, but limited data are available on its long-term consumption. This was evaluated in the present study, focusing on small-bowel mucosal histology and gastrointestinal symptoms in celiac adults maintaining a strict gluten-free diet with or without oats. Altogether 106 long-term treated celiac adults were enrolled for this cross-sectional follow-up study. Daily consumption of oats and fiber was assessed, and small-bowel mucosal morphology and densities of CD3+, αβ+ and γσ+ intraepithelial lymphocytes determined. Gastrointestinal symptoms were assessed by a validated Gastrointestinal Symptom Rating Scale questionnaire. Seventy (66%) out of the 106 treated celiac disease patients had consumed a median of 20 g of oats (range 1–100 g) per day for up to eight years; all consumed oat products bought from general stores. Daily intake and long-term consumption of oats did not result in small-bowel mucosal villous damage, inflammation, or gastrointestinal symptoms. Oat-consumers had a significantly higher daily intake of fiber than those who did not use oats. Two thirds of celiac disease patients preferred to use oats in their daily diet. Even long-term ingestion of oats had no harmful effects.
PMCID: PMC3847736  PMID: 24201240
celiac disease; gluten-free diet; morphology; oats; questionnaire; small-bowel
13.  Need for follow up in coeliac disease. 
Archives of Disease in Childhood  1994;70(3):211-213.
The use of follow up studies was evaluated in 128 patients with coeliac disease during their first visit to a department for adults. The original diagnosis had been made in childhood in all patients. Fifty eight (45%) of the subjects were following a gluten free diet, 23 (18%) were following a gluten free diet but with occasional gluten consumption, and 47 (37%) had adopted an unrestricted, gluten containing diet for a mean of 11.2 years. There was no correlation in individual subjects between the presence of symptoms, biochemical and immunological abnormalities, severity of histological findings, and the amount of dietary gluten, despite the greater frequency of symptoms in the group following an unrestricted diet than in the other two groups. Short stature and epilepsy with cerebral calcifications only occurred in patients following an unrestricted diet. As only diagnosis based on two or three biopsy samples and regular follow up correlated positively with dietary compliance, it is suggested that a histologically confirmed diagnosis of coeliac disease and regular lifelong follow up are essential in the management of these patients.
PMCID: PMC1029744  PMID: 8135565
14.  Estimated Levels of Gluten Incidentally Present in a Canadian Gluten-Free Diet 
Nutrients  2014;6(2):881-896.
Avoiding exposure to gluten is currently the only effective treatment for celiac disease. However, the evidence suggests that for most affected individuals, exposure to less than 10 mg/day is unlikely to cause histological changes to the intestinal mucosa. The daily diet of people with celiac disease does not rely solely on gluten-free pre-packaged foods, but also on naturally gluten-free grains (e.g., rice, buckwheat, ...) and foods with grain-derived ingredients (i.e., flour and starches) used for cooking and baking at home. The objective of this study was to estimate the level of incidental gluten potentially present in gluten-free diets from a Canadian perspective. We have conducted gluten exposure estimations from grain-containing foods and foods with grain-derived ingredients, taking into consideration the various rates of food consumption by different sex and age groups. These estimates have concluded that if gluten was present at levels not exceeding 20 ppm, exposure to gluten would remain below 10 mg per day for all age groups studied. However, in reality the level of gluten found in naturally gluten-free ingredients is not static and there may be some concerns related to the flours made from naturally gluten-free cereal grains. It was found that those containing a higher level of fiber and that are frequently used to prepare daily foods by individuals with celiac disease could be a concern. For this category of products, only the flours and starches labelled “gluten-free” should be used for home-made preparations.
PMCID: PMC3942737  PMID: 24566442
celiac disease; gluten-free diet; food consumption; grain-containing foods; naturally gluten-free ingredients
15.  Consumption of pure oats by individuals with celiac disease: A position statement by the Canadian Celiac Association 
The treatment of celiac disease is a strict adherence to a gluten-free diet for life. In the past, oats were considered to be toxic to individuals with celiac disease and were not allowed in a gluten-free diet. However, recent evidence suggests that oats that are pure and uncontaminated with other gluten-containing grains, if taken in limited quantities, are safe for most individuals with celiac disease. For adults, up to 70 g (1/2 to 3/4 cup) of oats per day and for children, up to 25 g (1/4 cup) per day are safe to consume. These oats and oat products must fulfill the standards for a gluten-free diet set by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and Health Canada. The Canadian Celiac Association, in consultation with Health Canada, Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, has established requirements for growing, processing, and purity testing and labelling of pure oats. These strategies have led to the production of pure, uncontaminated oats for the first time in Canada. Oats and oat products that are safe for consumption by individuals with celiac disease and dermatitis herpetiformis are now commercially available in Canada.
PMCID: PMC2658132  PMID: 17948135
Celiac disease; Gluten-free diet; Oats; Position statement
16.  A trichobezoar in a child with undiagnosed celiac disease: A case report 
Celiac disease is a chronic, immune-mediated enteropathy caused by a permanent sensitivity to ingested gluten cereals that develops in genetically susceptible individuals. The classic presentation of celiac disease includes symptoms of malabsorption but has long been associated with cognitive, emotional, and behavioral disorders. We describe an 8-year-old patient with non-scarring alopecia and diagnosed with trichotillomania. Furthermore, she presented with a 3-year history of poor appetite and two or three annual episodes of mushy, fatty stools. Laboratory investigations showed a normal hemoglobin concentration and a low ferritin level. Serologic studies showed an elevated tissue immunoglobulin G anti-tissue transglutaminase level. A duodenal biopsy showed subtotal villous atrophy and crypt hyperplasia, and a large gastric trichobezoar was found in the stomach. Immediately after beginning a gluten-free diet, complete relief of trichotillomania and trichophagia was achieved. In this report, we describe a behavioral disorder as a primary phenomenon of celiac disease, irrespective of nutritional status.
PMCID: PMC3921519  PMID: 24574811
Celiac disease; Trichobezoar; Trichotillomania; Behavioral disorder; Malabsorption syndrome
17.  Spectrum of gluten-related disorders: consensus on new nomenclature and classification 
BMC Medicine  2012;10:13.
A decade ago celiac disease was considered extremely rare outside Europe and, therefore, was almost completely ignored by health care professionals. In only 10 years, key milestones have moved celiac disease from obscurity into the popular spotlight worldwide. Now we are observing another interesting phenomenon that is generating great confusion among health care professionals. The number of individuals embracing a gluten-free diet (GFD) appears much higher than the projected number of celiac disease patients, fueling a global market of gluten-free products approaching $2.5 billion (US) in global sales in 2010. This trend is supported by the notion that, along with celiac disease, other conditions related to the ingestion of gluten have emerged as health care concerns. This review will summarize our current knowledge about the three main forms of gluten reactions: allergic (wheat allergy), autoimmune (celiac disease, dermatitis herpetiformis and gluten ataxia) and possibly immune-mediated (gluten sensitivity), and also outline pathogenic, clinical and epidemiological differences and propose new nomenclature and classifications.
PMCID: PMC3292448  PMID: 22313950
18.  Enzymatic Strategies to Detoxify Gluten: Implications for Celiac Disease 
Enzyme Research  2010;2010:174354.
Celiac disease is a permanent intolerance to the gliadin fraction of wheat gluten and to similar barley and rye proteins that occurs in genetically susceptible subjects. After ingestion, degraded gluten proteins reach the small intestine and trigger an inappropriate T cell-mediated immune response, which can result in intestinal mucosal inflammation and extraintestinal manifestations. To date, no pharmacological treatment is available to gluten-intolerant patients, and a strict, life-long gluten-free diet is the only safe and efficient treatment available. Inevitably, this may produce considerable psychological, emotional, and economic stress. Therefore, the scientific community is very interested in establishing alternative or adjunctive treatments. Attractive and novel forms of therapy include strategies to eliminate detrimental gluten peptides from the celiac diet so that the immunogenic effect of the gluten epitopes can be neutralized, as well as strategies to block the gluten-induced inflammatory response. In the present paper, we review recent developments in the use of enzymes as additives or as processing aids in the food biotechnology industry to detoxify gluten.
PMCID: PMC2963796  PMID: 21048862
19.  Factors that Influence Adherence to a Gluten-Free Diet in Adults with Celiac Disease 
Digestive diseases and sciences  2008;53(6):1573-1581.
The only treatment for celiac disease is lifelong adherence to a gluten-free diet, yet adherence is limited and factors influencing adherence are poorly understood. The purpose of this study was to determine factors influencing gluten-free diet adherence in adults with celiac disease.
A questionnaire was developed and administered to 154 adults with celiac disease who then underwent a standardized gluten-free diet evaluation by an experienced nutritionist. Multivariate analysis was conducted to determine factors associated with adherence level.
Thirteen factors hypothesized to contribute to gluten-free diet adherence were found to be significantly associated with improved adherence including: understanding of the gluten-free diet, membership of a celiac disease advocacy group, and perceived ability to maintain adherence despite travel or changes in mood or stress (P < 0.001).
This study identified specific factors correlated with gluten-free diet adherence. These results provide a foundation for the design of educational interventions to improve adherence.
PMCID: PMC3756800  PMID: 17990115
Celiac disease; Gluten free diet; Compliance; Adherence
20.  The anti-transglutaminase auto-antibodies in children’s saliva with a suspect coeliac disease: clinical study 
Oral & Implantology  2013;6(2):48-54.
The coeliac disease is an immune-mediated enteropathy triggered by an ingestion of gluten in genetically susceptible individuals. Like some other systemic diseases (Crohn’s disease, Sjögren’s syndrome) the celiac disease is able to alter the oral ecosystem and the composition of the saliva.
The aim of this retrospective study has been to examine the incidence of coeliac disease (CD) in paediatric population and to search the presence of anti-transglutaminase auto-antibodies (anti-tTG) in saliva, comparing and quantifying the concentration regard to the serum values of the anti-tTG auto-antibodies, before and after six months from the beginning of the free gluten diet.
Materials and Methods.
105 children (G0), aged between 5 and 13 years, belonging to the Paediatric Gastroenterology-Endoscopy Unit of PTV Hospital, University of Rome “Tor Vergata”, have been examined for a diagnosis of suspected CD.
Of a total of 105 pediatric patients (G0), only the 16.2% (G1) has showed to be positive. About the evaluation of the anti-tTG auto-antibodies in the serum, obtained from the second blood sample (T1), we can observe that 10 (G2) out of 17 children (G1) show positivity and for this reason they have been subjected to a sampling of intestinal villi to confirm the diagnosis of CD; in addition the 6.7% has been resulted positive at the first sampling of serum (T0), but negative to the second one (T1). The incidence of the CD has been resulted to be equal to 9.5%. About the evaluation of anti-tTG in the G1, we can observe that 58.8% of children are “definitely positive” to the salivary anti-tTG, while 11.8% appear to be weakly positive. About the correspondence of serum and salivary anti-tTG in Group G1, we can observe, that children positive to the anti-tTG in the serum have also the anti-tTG in the salivary fluid (sensibility 100%, specificity 71.4%). The results show that the anti-tTG salivary are present in children with CD, even though they have continued to follow the gluten free diet for 6 months.
The presence of anti-tTG in the saliva may be considered, an additional and useful diagnostic dental marker for an initial, reproducible, non invasive, inexpensive and highly sensitive screening of CD having a predictive and precocious value compared to anti-tTG contained in the serum, as it has been already demonstrated.
PMCID: PMC3808936  PMID: 24175054
coeliac disease; paediatric patient; saliva
21.  Refractory celiac disease and sprue-like intestinal disease 
Celiac disease is a gluten-dependent small intestinal mucosal disorder that causes malabsorption, often with diarrhea and weight loss. Diagnosis is based on detection of typical biopsy changes in the proximal small bowel, followed by evidence for an unequivocal response to a gluten-free diet. Refractoriness in celiac disease may be due to poor diet compliance, sometimes intentional, or consumption of ubiquitous sources of gluten. Alternatively, the original diagnosis may not be correct (eg., duodenal Crohn’s disease), or a second cause for symptoms may be present (eg., collagenous colitis, functional bowel disorder). In some with recurrent symptoms, a complication may be present (eg., collagenous sprue, small bowel carcinoma, lymphoma). In some, a response to a gluten-free diet can not be unequivocally defined, and more precise historical terms have been used including “sprue-like intestinal disease” or “unclassified sprue”. Although a “wastebasket diagnosis”, these likely represent a heterogeneous group, and some, but not all, may develop lymphoma. Precise definition will be critical in the future as an array of new treatments, including biological agents, may emerge.
PMCID: PMC2687049  PMID: 18240339
Refractory celiac disease; Refractory sprue; Unclassified sprue; Celiac disease; Intestinal lymphoma; T-cell enteropathy
22.  Small- bowel mucosal changes and antibody responses after low- and moderate-dose gluten challenge in celiac disease 
BMC Gastroenterology  2011;11:129.
Due to the restrictive nature of a gluten-free diet, celiac patients are looking for alternative therapies. While drug-development programs include gluten challenges, knowledge regarding the duration of gluten challenge and gluten dosage is insufficient.
We challenged adult celiac patients with gluten with a view to assessing the amount needed to cause some small-bowel mucosal deterioration.
Twenty-five celiac disease adults were challenged with low (1-3 g) or moderate (3-5g) doses of gluten daily for 12 weeks. Symptoms, small-bowel morphology, densities of CD3+ intraepithelial lymphocytes (IELs) and celiac serology were determined.
Both moderate and low amounts of gluten induced small-bowel morphological damage in 67% of celiac patients. Moderate gluten doses also triggered mucosal inflammation and more gastrointestinal symptoms leading to premature withdrawals in seven cases. In 22% of those who developed significant small- intestinal damage, symptoms remained absent. Celiac antibodies seroconverted in 43% of the patients.
Low amounts of gluten can also cause significant mucosal deterioration in the majority of the patients. As there are always some celiac disease patients who will not respond within these conditions, sample sizes must be sufficiently large to attain to statistical power in analysis.
PMCID: PMC3240817  PMID: 22115041
23.  The Molecular Basis for Oat Intolerance in Patients with Celiac Disease 
PLoS Medicine  2004;1(1):e1.
Celiac disease is a small intestinal inflammatory disorder characterized by malabsorption, nutrient deficiency, and a range of clinical manifestations. It is caused by an inappropriate immune response to dietary gluten and is treated with a gluten-free diet. Recent feeding studies have indicated oats to be safe for celiac disease patients, and oats are now often included in the celiac disease diet. This study aimed to investigate whether oat intolerance exists in celiac disease and to characterize the cells and processes underlying this intolerance.
Methods and Findings
We selected for study nine adults with celiac disease who had a history of oats exposure. Four of the patients had clinical symptoms on an oats-containing diet, and three of these four patients had intestinal inflammation typical of celiac disease at the time of oats exposure. We established oats-avenin-specific and -reactive intestinal T-cell lines from these three patients, as well as from two other patients who appeared to tolerate oats. The avenin-reactive T-cell lines recognized avenin peptides in the context of HLA-DQ2. These peptides have sequences rich in proline and glutamine residues closely resembling wheat gluten epitopes. Deamidation (glutamine→glutamic acid conversion) by tissue transglutaminase was involved in the avenin epitope formation.
We conclude that some celiac disease patients have avenin-reactive mucosal T-cells that can cause mucosal inflammation. Oat intolerance may be a reason for villous atrophy and inflammation in patients with celiac disease who are eating oats but otherwise are adhering to a strict gluten-free diet. Clinical follow-up of celiac disease patients eating oats is advisable.
Are oats safe for patients with celiac disease? Some patients studied here have an immune response to the oat protein avenin and show disease symptoms
PMCID: PMC523824  PMID: 15526039
24.  A Non-Human Primate Model for Gluten Sensitivity 
PLoS ONE  2008;3(2):e1614.
Background and Aims
Gluten sensitivity is widespread among humans. For example, in celiac disease patients, an inflammatory response to dietary gluten leads to enteropathy, malabsorption, circulating antibodies against gluten and transglutaminase 2, and clinical symptoms such as diarrhea. There is a growing need in fundamental and translational research for animal models that exhibit aspects of human gluten sensitivity.
Using ELISA-based antibody assays, we screened a population of captive rhesus macaques with chronic diarrhea of non-infectious origin to estimate the incidence of gluten sensitivity. A selected animal with elevated anti-gliadin antibodies and a matched control were extensively studied through alternating periods of gluten-free diet and gluten challenge. Blinded clinical and histological evaluations were conducted to seek evidence for gluten sensitivity.
When fed with a gluten-containing diet, gluten-sensitive macaques showed signs and symptoms of celiac disease including chronic diarrhea, malabsorptive steatorrhea, intestinal lesions and anti-gliadin antibodies. A gluten-free diet reversed these clinical, histological and serological features, while reintroduction of dietary gluten caused rapid relapse.
Gluten-sensitive rhesus macaques may be an attractive resource for investigating both the pathogenesis and the treatment of celiac disease.
PMCID: PMC2229647  PMID: 18286171
25.  Osteomalacia associated with cutaneous psoriasis as the presenting feature of coeliac disease: a case report 
Celiac disease (CD) is a chronic digestive disease that results in hypersensitivity to the gliadin fraction of Gluten. Malabsorption syndrome may be responsible for weight loss, diarrhea, osteomalacia, and vitamins deficiency. Herein we report a patient with coeliac disease (CD) who presented with osteomalacia and psoriasis without classical symptoms of CD. A 25-year-old North African Tunisian white woman was admitted to the hospital because of a 1-year history of bone pain, weight loss and weakness. She had cutaneous psoriasis on dermatologic examination. She had also anemia, hypocalcemia and pathological fracture. She was diagnosed to have osteomalacia on the basis of clinical, biological and radiological findings. Further investigations revealed the presence of antiglutaminase antibodies, and histopathologic findings of the duodenal biopsy were consistent with celiac disease. The patient showed a fast response to gluten-free diet, and full recovery with calcium and vitamin D replacement. Coeliac disease is frequently misdiagnosed leading to major complications such as osteolamacia. In the other hand, osteomalacia can still be the presenting feature of undiagnosed celiac disease. Association between osteomalacia and cutaneous psoriasis is rarely reported.
PMCID: PMC3343686  PMID: 22593794
Osteomalacia; cutaneous psoriasis; celiac disease; Vitamin D; Bone loss; gluten-free diet; Tunisia

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