ECCO News keeps ECCO Members up-to-date on what is going on within the organisation and reports on IBD activities taking place within Europe. Since Spring 2006, ECCO News has maintained the flow of information between Members of the organisation. 

ECCO News is an important part of the European Crohn’s and Colitis Organisation’s ambition to create a European standard of IBD care and to promote knowledge and research in the field of IBD. ECCO Members automatically receive this publication four times a year. 


Alessandro Armuzzi

Associate Editors

Nuha Yassin

Ignacio Catalán-Serra
© Ignacio Catalán-Serra

Latest ECCO News Content


ECCO Country Member Profiles: The Netherlands

 The Netherlands

Name of group: The Dutch Society of Gastroenterology (NVGE) is responsible for basic and clinical research in gastroenterology. Members include not only Dutch gastroenterologists, but also surgeons, paediatricians, fellows in gastroenterology, PhD students, scientists and nurses. Persons with a specific interest in IBD are members of the IBD Section.

The Initiative on Crohn and Colitis (ICC) is our Dutch IBD research organisation, which facilitates, coordinates and conducts collaborative collection of data and biomaterials as well as IBD studies in The Netherlands.

Number of active members: The NVGE has approximately 1830 members. The IBD Section has 300 members.

The ICC has 38 active members spread across the seven academic medical centres as well as the peripheral hospitals.  

Number of meetings per year: The NVGE has two scientific meetings each year (Digestive Disease Days), with presentations of original work and several state-of-the-art lectures.

The ICC has one IBD meeting each year with both presentations of scientific output and lectures on clinical IBD-related topics.

In addition to these meetings, there are several general meetings during the year to discuss ongoing and future research projects.

Name of president and secretary: 

Dutch Society of Gastroenterology (NVGE): Janneke van der Woude and Andrea van der Meulen

Initiative on Crohn and Colitis (ICC): Frank Hoentjen and Nanne de Boer

National Representatives: Fiona van Schaik and Willemijn van Dop

Joined ECCO in: 2003

Incidence of IBD in the country:

Incidence:           Approximately 29 per 100,000 per year

Prevalence:         Approximately 1:200; 90,000 patients in The Netherlands

Posted in ECCO News, Volume 16, Issue 1, ECCO Country Member Profiles


ECCO Country Member Profiles: Russian Federation

  Russian Federation

Name of group: Russian Gastroenterological Association

Number of active members:  120-150

Number of meetings per year: 10-12

Name of president and secretary: Vladimir Ivashkin and Alexander Trukhmanov

National Representatives: Yury Uspensky and Pavel Makarchuk

Joined ECCO in: 2007

Incidence of IBD in the country: 6.6 per 100,000

Posted in ECCO News, Volume 16, Issue 1, ECCO Country Member Profiles


Interview with ECCO's new Scientific Officer

Nuha Yassin, ECCO News Associate Editor

Nuha Yassin
© Nuha Yassin

It’s a great honour to introduce you to ECCO’s Scientific Officer, Professor Ailsa Hart. Ailsa is a Consultant Gastroenterologist and the IBD lead at St Mark’s Hospital, Harrow, London. Ailsa has been an active member at ECCO for many years and has been a great supporter of several initiatives. She has won the hearts and minds of many within and outside ECCO with her calm demeanour, hard work and bright outlook.

We hope you enjoy listening to this uplifting interview with Ailsa who gives us a sunny forecast during these challenging times. Please click on the audio link below:



Posted in ECCO News, Governing Board, Committee News, Volume 16, Issue 1


Y-ECCO Interview Corner: Marc Ferrante

Charlotte Hedin, Y-ECCO Member

Charlotte Hedin

Marc Ferrante was appointed assistant professor at KU Leuven (Leuven, Belgium) in 2013, and later became associate professor. He is also a staff member in the Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at the University Hospitals Leuven. He is a lecturer for students of Biomedical Sciences and Medicine and a coach for clinical fellows in training. He has previously been chair of both Y-ECCO and ClinCom and was appointed as a SciCom Member in 2019.

Posted in ECCO News, Committee News, Volume 16, Issue 1, Y-ECCO


Y-ECCO Literature Review: Rajan N Patel

Rajan N Patel


Attar A, Branche J, Coron E et al.

J Crohns Colitis 2020 Oct 27. doi: 10.1093/ecco-jcc/jjaa208. Online ahead of print.

Rajan N Patel
© Rajan N Patel


Crohn’s Disease is complicated by strictures in up to 30% of cases. Medical management with biologics is often suboptimal and surgical treatment is associated with postoperative complications and disease recurrence. Targeted therapy with endoscopic balloon dilatation (EBD) of strictures less than 5 cm has high rates of technical success (passage of endoscope through the stricture) but variable clinical success (relief of obstructive symptoms), with up to 25% of patients requiring surgery at one-year follow-up [1]. Removable fully covered metal stents are safe for the treatment of refractory strictures but the risk of stent migration is high [2].

Posted in ECCO News, Y-ECCO Literature Reviews, Committee News, Volume 16, Issue 1, Y-ECCO


Y-ECCO Literature Review: Eathar Shakweh

Eathar Shakweh

Randomised clinical trial: high‐dose oral thiamine versus placebo for chronic fatigue in patients with quiescent inflammatory bowel disease (TARIF study)

Bager P, Hvas CL, Rud CL1Dahlerup JF

Aliment Pharmacol Ther 2021;53(1):79–86.

Eathar Shakweh
© Eathar Shakweh


Fatigue is a common yet poorly understood manifestation of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) and can occur independently of disease activity. A prospective cohort study of 326 IBD patients initiating biologic therapy (with infliximab, vedolizumab or ustekinumab) demonstrated fatigue was prevalent at baseline (63%)1. Whilst fewer patients reported fatigue with treatment (70% at week 14, 61% at week 30 and 61% at week 54), a third continued to experience fatigue despite achieving clinical remission. This is supported by other studies, where fatigue prevalence in quiescent disease was as high as 36% in Ulcerative Colitis (UC) and 41% in Crohn’s disease (CD)2.

Posted in ECCO News, Y-ECCO Literature Reviews, Committee News, Volume 16, Issue 1, Y-ECCO


Y-ECCO Literature Review: Djuna de Jong

Djuna de Jong

A phase 1b safety study of SER-287, a spore-based microbiome therapeutic, for active mild to moderate ulcerative colitis

Henn M, O’Brien E, Diao L, et al.

Gastroenterology 2021;160(1):115–27.

Djuna de Jong
© Djuna de Jong


In the last decade, research on the human gut microbiome and its influence on health and disease has taken flight. This has strengthened the belief that the underlying pathogenesis of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) involves an altered immune response to characteristic shifts in the composition of the gut microbiome.

Posted in ECCO News, Y-ECCO Literature Reviews, Committee News, Volume 16, Issue 1, Y-ECCO


Y-ECCO Members’ Address

Johan Burisch, Y-ECCO Chair

Johan Burisch

Dear Y-ECCO Friends,

After a 2020 that ended up being all about COVID-19, let’s hope that 2021 will be a normal year where we can meet and network again and put COVID behind us. I recently got my first shot of the vaccination, which was a wonderful experience of what science is capable of in times of need. In Denmark we’ve started vaccinating our IBD patients but vaccine scepticism and uncertainties about the evidence is everywhere and we as physicians are needed more than ever to inform our patients.

Posted in ECCO News, Committee News, Volume 16, Issue 1, Y-ECCO


8th P-ECCO Educational Course at ECCO' 21

David Wilson, P-ECCO Chair

David Wilson

Although the relationship between IBD and nutrition is of longstanding interest, the attention paid to it has increased dramatically in recent years, with the inclusion of nutritional interventions in ECCO Guidelines on both paediatric and adult Crohn’s Disease (and of course many other IBD guidelines), bespoke publications such as the ECCO perioperative dietary therapy topical review and a flowering of clinical interest in Crohn’s Disease-specific diets.

This clinical interest in nutritional issues in IBD is also reflected in the exceptional interest in a December 2020 educational article in the UEG Journal “Mistakes in…” series, namely “Mistakes in nutrition in IBD and how to avoid them” by the ECCO Members Joe Meredith, Kostas Gerasimidis and Richard Russell ( Basic and translational scientific studies of the pathogenesis of IBD have increasingly evaluated the role of nutrition and particularly its interaction with the microbiome.

Posted in ECCO News, Committee News, Congress News, Volume 16, Issue 1, P-ECCO


Impact of COVID-19 on surgical IBD care

Michel Adamina, S-ECCO Chair on behalf of Christianne Buskens, Omar Faiz, Pår Myrelid, Hagit Tulchinsky

Michel Adamina

For the past year the COVID-19 pandemic has raged across the world, with wave after wave of the disease. No country has been spared and no end is in sight in the near future. A recent position paper from the ECCO COVID-19 Taskforce presented the ten ‘dos and don’ts’ when caring for IBD patients. S-ECCO Members are involved in the specialised surgical care of IBD patients in many countries and a variety of institutions. Hence, we are offering this opinion piece on the performance of IBD surgery during the pandemic.

Posted in ECCO News, Committee News, Volume 16, Issue 1, S-ECCO