Differences in Gut Microbiota in Patients With vs Without Inflammatory Bowel Diseases: A Systematic Review
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BACKGROUND & AIMS: Altering the intestinal microbiota has been proposed as a treatment for inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs), but there are no established associations between specific microbes and IBD. We performed a systematic review to identify frequent associations. METHODS: We searched the MEDLINE, EMBASE, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials databases, through April 2, 2018 for studies that compared intestinal microbiota (from fecal or colonic or ileal tissue samples) among patients (adult or pediatric) with IBD vs healthy individuals (controls). The primary outcome was difference in specific taxa in fecal or intestinal tissue samples from patients with IBD vs controls. We used the Newcastle-Ottawa scale to assess the quality of studies included in the review. RESULTS: We identified 2631 citations; 48 studies from 45 articles were included in the analysis. Most studies evaluated adults with Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis. All 3 studies of Christensenellaceae and Coriobacteriaceae and 6 of 11 studies of Faecalibacterium prausnitzii reported a decreased amount of those organisms compared with controls, whereas 2 studies each of Actinomyces, Veillonella, and Escherichia coli revealed an increased amount in patients with Crohn's disease. For patients with ulcerative colitis, Eubacterium rectale and Akkermansia were decreased in all 3 studies, whereas E coli was increased in 4 of 9 studies. The microbiota diversity was either decreased or not different in patients with IBD vs controls. Fewer than 50% of the studies stated comparable sexes and ages of cases and controls. CONCLUSIONS: In a systematic review, we found evidence for differences in abundances of some bacteria in patients with IBD vs controls, but we cannot make conclusions due to inconsistent results and methods among studies. Further large-scale studies, with better methods of assessing microbe populations, are needed.
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