The distinct features of microbial 'dysbiosis' of Crohn's disease do not occur to the same extent in their unaffected, genetically-linked kindred

Umer Zeeshan Ijaz, Christopher Quince, Laura Hanske, Nick Loman, Szymon T. Calus, Martin Bertz, Christine A. Edwards, Daniel R. Gaya, Richard Hansen, Paraic McGrogan, Richard K. Russell, Konstantinos Gerasimidis

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Background/Aims Studying the gut microbiota in unaffected relatives of people with Crohn's disease (CD) may advance our understanding of the role of bacteria in disease aetiology. Methods Faecal microbiota composition (16S rRNA gene sequencing), genetic functional capacity (shotgun metagenomics) and faecal short chain fatty acids (SCFA) were compared in unaffected adult relatives of CD children (CDR, n = 17) and adult healthy controls, unrelated to CD patients (HUC, n = 14). The microbiota characteristics of 19 CD children were used as a benchmark of CD 'dysbiosis'. Results The CDR microbiota was less diverse (p = 0.044) than that of the HUC group. Local contribution of β-diversity analysis showed no difference in community structure between the CDR and HUC groups. Twenty one of 1,243 (1.8%) operational taxonomic units discriminated CDR from HUC. The metagenomic functional capacity (p = 0.207) and SCFA concentration or pattern were similar between CDR and HUC (p>0.05 for all SCFA). None of the KEGG metabolic pathways were different between these two groups. Both of these groups (HUC and CDR) had a higher microbiota α-diversity (CDR, p = 0.026 and HUC, p<0.001) with a community structure (β-diversity) distinct from that of children with CD. Conclusions While some alterations were observed, a distinct microbial 'dysbiosis', characteristic of CD patients, was not observed in their unaffected, genetically linked kindred.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0172605
JournalPLoS One
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2017

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