BACKGROUND: Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory disease of the skin affecting 2-3% of UK population. 30% of people affected by psoriasis will develop a distinct form of arthritis within 10 years of the skin condition onset. Although the pathogenesis of psoriatic arthritis is still unknown, there is a genetic predisposition triggered by environmental factors. Limited but convincing evidence link the gut microbiome to psoriatic arthritis. The Microbiome in Psoriatic ARThritis (Mi-PART) study propose is to characterise the microbiome-metabolic interface in patients affected by psoriatic arthritis to deepen our understanding of the pathogenesis of the disease.
METHODS: This is a multicentre, prospective, observational study. Psoriatic arthritis (n = 65) and ankylosing spondylitis (n = 30) patients will be recruited in addition to a control group of healthy volunteers (n = 30). Patients eligibility will be evaluated against the Criteria for Psoriatic Arthritis (CASPAR), the Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Activity Index (BASDAI) and the healthy volunteers who fulfil study inclusion and exclusion criteria. Information regarding their medical and medication history, demographics, diet and lifestyle will be collected. All the participants in the study will be asked to complete a 7-day food diary, to provide stool samples and to complete quality of life questionnaires. Routine clinical laboratory tests will be performed on blood and urine samples. Patients and healthy volunteers with gastrointestinal symptoms, previous history of cancer, gastrointestinal surgery in the previous 6 months or alcohol abuse will be excluded from the study.
DISCUSSION: The aim of this trial is to characterise the microbiome of psoriatic arthritis patients and to compare it with microbiome of healthy volunteers and of patient with ankylosing spondylitis in order to define if different rheumatologic conditions are associated with characteristic microbiome profiles. Investigating the role of the microbiome in the development of psoriatic arthritis could deepen our understanding of the pathogenesis of the disease and potentially open the way to new therapies.