A team of Korean researchers said that people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) have less bacterial diversity in their gut than healthy people. The researchers believe their analysis is the first to find a clear association between IBS and a lower diversity of gut microbiota. Search appears in Spectrum MicrobiologyAn open access journal of the American Society for Microbiology.
Typically, “more than 10,000 species of microorganisms live in the human intestine,” said corresponding author Jung Ok Shim, MD, PhD, professor of pediatric gastroenterology, hepatology, and nutrition, Department of Pediatrics, Korea University College of Medicine. flood. Disruption of the human gastrointestinal microbiome can trigger IBS. Typically, IBS causes bloating, diarrhea, and stomach pain or cramps.
Previous studies of gut bacteria in patients with IBS have been controversial, with inconsistent results, Shim said, due to the small sample size and lack of consistent analytical methods used among these studies. The researchers combined their dataset with 9 published and collaborative datasets, involving 576 IBS patients and 487 healthy controls, and analyzed them using a “standardized data processing and analytical method.”
Shim said the researchers found that the intestinal bacterial community is less diverse in IBS patients than it is in healthy people. In addition, the abundance of 21 bacteria differed between IBS patients and healthy controls. However, the results were not statistically significant in the pediatric cohort due to the small sample size.
Shim said investigators have established that a disturbed intestinal bacterial community “is associated with irritable bowel syndrome, although this does not mean that the relationship is causal.” “Functional studies are needed to establish whether a change in the gut microbiota contributes to the development of IBS.”
Although IBS is a common disorder, its aetiological causes are still unknown, and to date there is no effective treatment strategy. “Based on epidemiological studies of patients with IBS, altered gut microbiota has been suggested as one possible cause of IBS,” the researchers wrote. “Acute bacterial gastroenteritis can cause chronic, asymptomatic, low-grade inflammation of the intestinal wall sufficiently to alter neuronal, muscle, and epithelial cell function.”