Table 1

Overview of age and number of participants and the percentage of individuals positive for methanogens within each different disease group analysed.

Disease group

Number of individuals per group (n = 207 total)

Mean age, SD and range

Disease status

% Methanogen positive (mcrA gene)

Healthy Controls (HC)


25.8 ± 8.3 (range 19–56)

No history of gastrointestinal illness


Crohn's Disease (CD)


41.3 ± 11.9 (range 25–70)

Both remission and relapse (CDAI >150 a) individuals


Ulcerative Colitis (UC)


49.0 ± 12.0 (range 32–70)

Both remission and relapse individuals b

24% d

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)


44.4 ± 12.8 yrs, (range 24–74)

Diagnosed according to the Rome II criteria c


Colorectal Cancer (CC)


60.3 ± 6.6 yrs, (range 45–70)

In remission, >95% receiving a wide range of medication


Polypectomised (PP)


53.5 ± 9.1 yrs, (range 30–69)

Pre-cancerous polyps removed


No data was available on the time of collection of samples and all samples analysed in this study were participants in larger trials. The individuals selected for each trial was done so in a randomised fashion with only the disease status of the host being the primary prerequisite for inclusion.

a CDAI: Crohn's Disease Activity Index. Individuals with a CDAI greater than 150 are considered to be in relapse [47].

b Diagnosed by clinician.

c see [48].

d Significantly (P < 0.01) different from Control group using Fischers' exact statistical test.

Scanlan et al. BMC Microbiology 2008 8:79   doi:10.1186/1471-2180-8-79

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