Analyzing metagenome helps understand the role of bacterial species in Crohn’s disease

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Analyzing metagenome helps understand the role of bacterial species in Crohn’s disease

What role do bacteria have in Crohn’s disease?

Research on the gut metagenome of patients with Crohn’s disease elucidates how it influences the taxonomic and functional composition of intestinal microbiota. Among the most common changes are the decrease in the diversity of beneficial microbes and the increased abundance of Escherichia coli and other microbes associated with inflammation. The results can help to better understand the causes and progress of the disease, as well as to optimize treatment schemes. The results were published in BMC Genomics.

Among the most promising approaches is metagenomic analysis—sequencing of total genetic material of a microbial community. A research team including scientists from ITMO University and specialists from the Federal Research and Clinical Center of Physical-Chemical Medicine in collaboration with clinicians from several medical centers have recently investigated the gut metagenome of patients with Crohn’s disease. It was discovered that the composition of microbiota in such patients is significantly different compared to that of healthy subjects: as the fraction of normal microbes decreases, pathogenic species that are not prevalent in humans begin to dominate.

Although the type of dysbiosis varied from patient to patient, most of them manifested a several times increase in the abundance of Escherichia coli. The scientists set out to identify the specific genes that distinguish the subtypes of Escherichia coli inhabiting the gut of patients with Crohn’s disease and common Escherichia coli that exists in healthy people. The comparison conducted on Russian population showed lack of such universal differences. The observations were confirmed during the analysis of the publicly available datasets on healthy subjects and patients with Crohn’s disease from all over the world.

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