Dutch Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis Have Antibodies to Proteus
In the early 1980s, the Immunology Unit of King’s College had shown that there were elevated levels of antibodies to the Gram-negative bowel microbe Klebsiella in patients suffering from ankylosing spondylitis.
In 1992, I was attending a Rheumatology Congress in Barcelona when the late Professor Bert Feltkamp from Amsterdam approached me and said: ‘Alan, we have done 3 studies in the Netherlands and we cannot find antibodies in our Dutch ankylosing spondylitis patients as you do in London. It must be the London water’. Clearly, here was a challenge as I knew there was nothing wrong with the London water.