The GlycanTrigger project proposes a thorough and innovative approach to understand better the health-to-chronic inflammation transition occurring in patients with CD that will be translated into improved disease prediction and prevention. The project aims to do so by addressing how changes in glycosylation of the gut mucosa act as a primary event that dysregulates not only local mechanisms (imposing maladapted host-microbiome interactions) but also systemic mechanisms (promoting antimicrobial antibodies production), involving the novel concept of glycan mimicry as an early trigger of the health to inflammation transition – GlycanTrigger.
Moreover, following the recent discovery that changes in glycosylation can be detected in serum years before CD diagnosis and are correlated with increased levels of pathogenic antimicrobial antibodies (ASCA), the project will pursue the hypothesis that changes in mucosa glycans constitute a major source for the development of anti-glycan antibodies (ASCA), associated with the health-to-inflammation transition.
The long-term goal of this project is to unlock, through an integrative approach, a new checkpoint that regulates the transition to chronic inflammation. The project will lead to breakthrough concepts in the health-to-chronic inflammation transition and novel predictive tools translated into novel glyco-intervention strategies for disease prevention. The consortium comprises nine organisation participants with Instituto de Investigacao e Inovacao em Saude da Universidade do Porto (i3S) as the lead partner to ensure efficient dialogue and a continuous focus on the actual needs of patients living with Crohn's disease.
EFCCA will involve relevant sister organisations from the USA, Canada and Australia, patient/medical European (and non-European) associations and networks to implement a strategy to maximise their involvement in the project and to promote the project's findings. The project will run for six years, and the kick-off meeting will commence in Porto (Portugal) from 13 to 14 March 2023.