Alterations in the gut bacterial microbiome in fungal Keratitis patients.

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Alterations in the gut bacterial microbiome in fungal Keratitis patients.

PLoS One. 2018;13(6):e0199640

Authors: Kalyana Chakravarthy S, Jayasudha R, Ranjith K, Dutta A, Pinna NK, Mande SS, Sharma S, Garg P, Murthy SI, Shivaji S

Dysbiosis in the gut microbiome has been implicated in several diseases including auto-immune diseases, inflammatory diseases, cancers and mental disorders. Keratitis is an inflammatory disease of the eye significantly contributing to corneal blindness in the developing world. It would be worthwhile to investigate the possibility of dysbiosis in the gut microbiome being associated with Keratitis. Here, we have analyzed fungal and bacterial populations in stool samples through high-throughput sequencing of the ITS2 region for fungi and V3-V4 region of 16S rRNA gene for bacteria in healthy controls (HC, n = 31) and patients with fungal keratitis (FK, n = 32). Candida albicans (2 OTUs), Aspergillus (1 OTU) and 3 other denovo-OTUs were enriched in FK samples and an unclassified denovo-OTU was enriched in HC samples. However, the overall abundances of these ‘discriminatory’ OTUs were very low (< 0.001%) and not indicative of significant dysbiosis in the fungal community inhabiting the gut of FK patients. In contrast, the gut bacterial richness and diversity in FK patients was significantly decreased when compared to HC. 52 OTUs were significantly enriched in HC samples whereas only 5 OTUs in FK. The OTUs prominently enriched in HC were identified as Faecalibacterium prausnitzii, Bifidobacterium adolescentis, Lachnospira, Mitsuokella multacida, Bacteroides plebeius, Megasphaera and Lachnospiraceae. In FK samples, 5 OTUs affiliated to Bacteroides fragilis, Dorea, Treponema, Fusobacteriaceae, and Acidimicrobiales were significantly higher in abundance. The functional implications are that Faecalibacterium prausnitzii, an anti-inflammatory bacterium and Megasphaera, Mitsuokella multacida and Lachnospira are butyrate producers, which were enriched in HC patients, whereas Treponema and Bacteroides fragilis, which are pathogenic were abundant in FK patients, playing a potential pro-inflammatory role. Heatmap, PCoA plots and functional profiles further confirm the distinct patterns of gut bacterial composition in FK and HC samples. Our study demonstrates dysbiosis in the gut bacterial microbiomes of FK patients compared to HC. Further, based on inferred functions, it appears that dysbiosis in the gut of FK subjects is strongly associated with the disease phenotype with decrease in abundance of beneficial bacteria and increase in abundance of pro-inflammatory and pathogenic bacteria.

PMID: 29933394 [PubMed – in process]

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