SAA receives no government funding and relies on the generous donations from individuals to create and maintain the programs and services aimed at improving the futures of the 2.7 million Americans affected by spondylitis.

Does the Microbiome Cause Ankylosing Spondylitis?

SAA Medical Board Member James Rosenbaum, MD, posed this question in SAA's news magazine, Spondylitis Plus. Since that article was published, SAA has assisted in funding his research to test his hypothesis.


Genetic and Environmental Influence on SpA Diseases

Dr. Lianne Gensler is a rheumatologist at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) Medical Center and the Director of the Ankylosing Spondylitis Clinic. Dr. Gensler, Dr. Matt Stoll and Dr. Matt Brown were selected to receive funding for their MOSAS research study.

Multiple genetic and environmental factors result in the development of SpA diseases, including ankylosing spondylitis. In this study, Dr. Gensler will evaluate children at increased risk of developing spondylitis based upon a family history of AS and positive HLA-B27 marker, comparing them to their HLA-B27 negative, and thus lower-risk siblings as well as to their disease-free parent. This will be the first study of its kind to evaluate the pre-disease microbiota in patients with a higher likelihood of developing arthritis.

Fungus/Yeast in the Pathogenesis of SpA

Drs. Mark Asquith and James Rosenbaum’s research focuses on the potential role for fungus or yeast in the pathogenesis of spondyloarthritis. Microbiota is the community of micro-organisms that inhabit the interior and exterior of the human body at various tissue sites. Drs. Asquith and Rosenbaum’s research utilizes fungal microbiota to investigate a novel therapeutic strategy to reduce or prevent disease symptoms in AS patients. 

Treatment Guidelines

Recommendations for the Management of Axial Spondyloarthritis

From the American College of Rheumatology's website,

The American College of Rheumatology (ACR) has released new recommendations for the treatment of ankylosing spondylitis (AS) and non-radiographic axial spondyloarthritis (SpA). The guideline was developed with the Spondylitis Association of America (SAA) and the Spondyloarthritis Research and Treatment Network. It summarizes recommendations for both pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic treatments, including rehabilitation, management of patients with comorbid conditions, use of certain surgeries, and approaches to patient monitoring.

National Patient Registry on Ankylosing Spondylitis

SAA has seeded a national patient registry on ankylosing spondylitis. By combining three existing patient databases that have been used in research, the composite database can look at thousands and potentially tens of thousands of patients and be able to track health trends, disease severity over time, age, gender, race, and many other factors to improve understanding of the disease.

Watch for Updates in Our News Section

SAA's Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Workshop in Spondyloarthritis

The Spondylitis Association of America has funded and helped create a state-of-the-art workshop for rheumatologists and radiologists called "Magnetic Imaging Workshop in Spondyloarthritis (SpA)." The purpose of this certified Continuing Medical Education program is to educate radiologists and rheumatologists in spondyloarthritis imaging and to promote earlier diagnosis in SpA.


Molecular Basis for the Association of HLA-B27 and Ankylosing Spondylitis

SAA has helped fund the research of Joel Taurog, MD, into the association between HLA-B27 and ankylosing spondylitis. Dr. Taurog serves on SAA’s Medical and Scientific Advisory Board.

From Dr. Taurog's profile on the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center website,

The goal of Dr. Taurog's research has been to understand the molecular basis for the association of the rheumatic disease called ankylosing spondylitis with the major histocompatibility allele HLA-B27. This MHC class I allele is found in 7 percent of the U.S. population, but in over 90 percent of individuals with ankylosing spondylitis. Of individuals with B27, it is estimated that up to 13 percent will develop ankylosing spondylitis or a related form of spondyloarthritis.

More About Dr. Taurog's Studies

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