Low counts ofFaecalibacterium prausnitziiin colitis microbiota

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Background:The intestinal microbiota is suspected to play a role in colitis and particularly in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) pathogenesis. The aim was to compare the fecal microbiota composition of patients with colitis to that of healthy subjects (HS).Methods:fecal samples from 22 active Crohn's disease (A-CD) patients, 10 CD patients in remission (R-CD), 13 active ulcerative colitis (A-UC) patients, 4 UC patients in remission (R-UC), 8 infectious colitis (IC) patients, and 27 HS were analyzed by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) targeting the 16S rRNA gene. Bacterial counts were transformed to logarithms (Log10 CFU) for statistical analysis.Results:Bacteria of the phylum Firmicutes (Clostridium leptum and Clostridium coccoides groups) were less represented in A-IBD patients (9.7; P = 0.004) and IC (9.4; P = 0.02), compared to HS (10.8). Faecalibacterium prausnitzii species (a major representative of the C. leptum group) had lower counts in A-IBD and IC patients compared to HS (8.8 and 8.3 versus 10.4; P = 0.0004 and P = 0.003). The Firmicutes/Bacteroidetes ratio was lower in A-IBD (1.3; P = 0.0001) and IC patients (0.4; P = 0.002). Compared to HS, Bifidobacteria were less represented in A-IBD and IC (7.9 and 7.7 versus 9.2; P = 0.001 and P = 0.01).Conclusions:The fecal microbiota of patients with IBD differs from that of HS. The phylum Firmicutes and particularly the species F. prausnitzii, are underrepresented in A-IBD patients as well as in IC patients. These bacteria could be crucial to gut homeostasis since lower counts of F. prausnitzii are consistently associated with a reduced protection of the gut mucosa.(Inflamm Bowel Dis 2009)

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