In recent years the IIBDGC has focused on collecting very large datasets from a diverse set of countries via world-wide collaboration. In addition to enabling the discovery of all these genes, we also try to dig a little deeper into what these associations actually mean. Our latest paper takes this further than we ever have before, involving analysts from a dozen research groups and using the latest statistical techniques to look for patterns across the 163 regions.
The combination of all this information allowed us make new statements about IBD risk that no single locus can tell us: IBD is not just genetically similar to other diseases of immunity, but is particularly closely related to certain inflammatory disease such as psoriasis. IBD risk is not only related to changes in the immune system, it is related to a particular subset of immune cells and signals. Not only is IBD risk related to susceptibility to bacterial infection, it is remarkably strongly connected with susceptibility to the family of bacteria that includes leprosy and TB.
In contrast to just five years ago, discovering genes for disease is no longer the hard part. Future studies, including those of the IIBDGC, will have to focus not just on discovering new associations, but also on turning those associations into new biological understanding.
"There are two groups of files: (1) GWAS meta-analyses, and (2) GWAS plus Immunochip trans-ancestry MANTRA meta-analyses. Each group has outputs for Crohn's disease (CD), ulcerative colitis (UC), and both inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) together."