Intestinal Dysbiosis May Link ME/CFS With GI and Neurological Disturbances

Bacterial taxa predictive of ME/CFS patients with IBS were distinct from taxa associated with ME/CFS patients without IBS. <i>Photo Credit: CDC/Don Stalons.</i>
Bacterial taxa predictive of ME/CFS patients with IBS were distinct from taxa associated with ME/CFS patients without IBS. Photo Credit: CDC/Don Stalons.

HealthDay News — Distinct bacterial taxa are seen in myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) subgroups, defined by the presence of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), according to a study published in Microbiome.

Dorottya Nagy-Szakal, MD, from Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health in New York City, and colleagues conducted clinical characterization, fecal bacterial metagenomics, and plasma immune molecule analyses in 50 ME/CFS patients and 50 matched healthy controls.

The researchers identified correlations between IBS co-morbidity, body mass index, fecal bacterial composition, and bacterial metabolic pathways but not plasma immune molecules in topological analysis. These findings were supported by predictive selection models based on bacterial profiles. The strongest driving factor in the separation of topological networks based on bacterial profiles and metabolic pathways was IBS co-morbidity. 

Distinct bacterial taxa were associated with ME/CFS patients with IBS versus those without IBS. The top biomarkers of ME/CFS with IBS were increased abundance of unclassified Alistipes and decreased Faecalibacterium, compared with increased unclassified Bacteroides abundance and decreased Bacteroides vulgatus for ME/CFS without IBS. Decreased metabolic pathways associated with unsaturated fatty acid biosynthesis and increased atrazine degradation pathways were seen, independent of IBS co-morbidity. The top metabolic pathways in ME/CFS without IBS and in the total ME/CFS cohort were increased vitamin B6 biosynthesis/salvage and pyrimidine ribonucleoside degradation.

"These insights may enable more accurate diagnosis and lead to insights that inform the development of specific therapeutic strategies in ME/CFS subgroups," the authors write.

Reference

Nagy-Szakal D, Williams BL, Mishra N, et al. Fecal metagenomic profiles in subgroups of patients with myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome. Microbiome. 2017;5:44. doi: 10.1186/s40168-017-0261-y

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