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Low-complexity microbiota in the duodenum of children with newly diagnosed ulcerative colitis

Journal article
Authors Fei Sjöberg
Cecilia Barkman
I. Nookaew
Sofia M Östman
Ingegerd Adlerberth
Robert Saalman
Agnes E Wold
Published in Plos One
Volume 12
Issue 10
ISSN 1932-6203
Publication year 2017
Published at Institute of Clinical Sciences, Department of Pediatrics
Institute of Biomedicine, Department of Infectious Medicine
Language en
Keywords inflammatory-bowel-disease, northern stockholm county, killer t-cells, germ-free mice, fecal microbiota, crohns-disease, intestinal microbiota, oral tolerance, atopic eczema, immune-system, Science & Technology - Other Topics
Subject categories Infectious Medicine


Background Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is characterized by gut dysbiosis. To date, the large bowel microbiota has been in focus. However, the microbiota of the small intestine may also be of importance, as the small bowel is a site for the induction and control of mucosal immune responses, which can be modulated by constituents of the local microbiota. Duodenal fluids were collected during diagnostic work-up of treatment-naive children who were suspected of having IBD. The duodenal fluids were analyzed by pyrosequencing (average of 32,000 reads/sample, read length of 500 nucleotides). After diagnosis, the duodenal microbiota of subjects with ulcerative colitis (N = 8) or Crohn's disease (N = 5), and non-IBD controls (N = 8) were compared. Pyrosequencing revealed that the duodenal microbiota of children with ulcerative colitis contained fewer Operational Taxonomic Units (OTUs) per individual than the duodenal microbiota of the controls (P = 0.005). This reduction in richness of the duodenal microbiota was seen for three major phyla: Firmicutes, Actinobacteria, and Bacteroidetes. Several bacterial genera were detected less frequently in the children with ulcerative colitis than in the non-IBD controls, including Collinsella (P = 0.001), Lactobacillus (P = 0.007), and Bacillus (P = 0.007), as well as a non-identified member of the order Sphingobacteriales (P = 0.007). In this pilot study, we show that the duodenal microbiota of children with ulcerative colitis exhibits reduced overall richness, despite the fact that the inflammation is primarily localized to the colon. These results should be corroborated in a larger study.

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