Inter-kingdom relationships in Crohn’s disease explored using a multi-omics approach

Alessandra Frau, Umer Z. Ijaz, Rachael Slater, Daisy Jonkers, John Penders, Barry J. Campbell, John G. Kenny, Neil Hall, Luca Lenzi, Michael D. Burkitt, Marieke Pierik, Alistair C. Darby, Christopher S. J. Probert

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The etiology of Crohn’s disease (CD) is multifactorial. Bacterial and fungal microbiota are involved in the onset and/or progression of the disease. A bacterial dysbiosis in CD patients is accepted; however, less is known about the mycobiome and the relationships between the two communities. We investigated the interkingdom relationships, their metabolic consequences, and the changes in the fungal community during relapse and remission in CD. Two cohorts were evaluated: a British cohort (n = 63) comprising CD and ulcerative colitis patients, and controls. The fungal and bacterial communities of biopsy and fecal samples were analyzed, with the fecal volatiles; datasets were also integrated; and a Dutch cohort (n = 41) comprising CD patients and healthy controls was analyzed for stability of the gut mycobiome. A dysbiosis of the bacterial community was observed in biopsies and stool. Results suggest Bacteroides is likely key in CD and may modulate Candida colonization. A dysbiosis of the fungal community was observed only in the Dutch cohort; Malassezia and Candida were increased in patients taking immunosuppressants. Longitudinal analysis showed an increase in Cyberlindnera in relapse. Saccharomyces was dominant in all fecal samples, but not in biopsies, some of which did not yield fungal reads; amino acid degradation was the main metabolic change associated with CD and both bacteria and fungi might be implicated. We have shown that Bacteroides and yeasts may play a role in CD; understanding their role and relationship in the disease would shed new light on the development and treatment of CD.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1930871
JournalGut Microbes
Issue number1
Early online date9 Jul 2021
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Crohn’s disease
  • metabolome
  • microbiome
  • mycobiome
  • volatile organic compound

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