Understanding the variables that influence microbiome studies is critical for successful translational research. Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a complex group of diseases that can present at multiple locations within the Gastrointestinal tract. Here, using the FAMISHED study cohort, the authors aimed to investigate the relationship between IBD condition, IBD disease location, and the microbiome. Signatures of the microbiome, including measures of diversity, taxonomy, and functionality, all significantly differed across the three different IBD conditions, Crohn’s disease (CD), ulcerative colitis (UC), and microscopic colitis (MC). Notably, when stratifying by disease location, patients with CD in the terminal ileum were more similar to healthy controls than patients with CD in the small bowel or colon, however no differences were observed at different disease locations across patients with UC. Change in taxonomic composition resulted in changes in function, with CD at each disease location, UC and MC all having unique functional dysbioses. CD patients in particular had deficiencies in Short-Chain Fatty Acid (SCFA) pathways. These results demonstrate the complex relationship between IBD and the microbiome and highlight the need for consistent strategies for the stratification of clinical cohorts and downstream analysis to ensure results across microbiome studies and clinical trials are comparable.
Link to full article: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-021-96942-z