Research ArticleGUT MICROBIOTA

Gut microbiota composition and functional changes in inflammatory bowel disease and irritable bowel syndrome

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Science Translational Medicine  19 Dec 2018:
Vol. 10, Issue 472, eaap8914
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aap8914

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  • RE: Gut microbiota composition and functional changes in inflammatory bowel disease and irritable bowel syndrome
    • Dr Dianne Sika-Paotonu, Associate Dean (Pacific)/Senior Lecturer Pathology & Molecular Medicine, Wellington School of Medicine & Health Sciences, University of Otago, New Zealand

    To the Editor,

    I read with keen interest the research article prepared by Vila A. V., et al. (1) and entitled: “Gut microbiota composition and functional changes in inflammatory bowel disease and irritable bowel syndrome.”

    This work identified the gut microbiota composition of participant cohorts with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD, n = 355) and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS, n = 412) in a case control study (controls n = 1025), using shotgun metagenomic sequencing techniques applied to stool samples from these groups.

    Microbiome signatures for IBD and IBS at the species and strain level were identified, with characteristics in bacterial growth rates, antibiotic resistance genes, functional capacities, microbial taxonomy, metabolic function and virulence factors also described.

    This study utilised carefully selected control participants from the general population to allow comparisons and support identification of the reported differences in gut composition and functioning described in this work. In addition to the need for well characterized participant cohorts, further work will also require consideration of other GI conditions given the associated altered gut functioning and potential influence on IBD and IBS.

    As the authors have noted, the clinical relevance of the microbial pathways described in this study will require attention in the context of metatranscriptomics and metabolomics work, with culturomics and whole genome sequen...

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    Competing Interests: None declared.

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