• The bacterial communities of the small intestine and stool in children with short bowel syndrome

      Zeichner, S.L.; Mongodin, E.F.; Hittle, L. (Public Library of Science, 2019)
      Short bowel syndrome (SBS) presents an increasing problem in pediatrics. SBS often results from surgical resection of necrotic bowel following necrotizing enterocolitis or treatment of anatomic gastrointestinal defects. SBS is associated with significant morbidity and mortality, and creates substantial burdens for patients, families, and the health system. Recent reports have demonstrated that the fecal microbiome of children with SBS is significantly different from healthy control and severe intestinal microbial imbalances is associated with poor growth. We hypothesized that children with SBS and adverse clinical features such as PN dependent, shorter bowel length and lack of ileocecal valve would demonstrate more gut dysbiosis compare with the SBS non-PN dependent. An improved understanding of SBS pathogenesis would enhance management and potentially suggest new interventions. We studied microbial communities of SBS and control non-SBS patients from the jejunum, obtained endoscopically or by ostomy aspiration, and stool. We enrolled SBS patients who did and did not require parenteral nutrition (PN), as a surrogate marker for the seriousness of their disease. We studied the microbiota using high-throughput DNA sequencing of 16S rRNA genes and statistical analyses. We found that microbial diversity was significantly greater in jejunal aspirate than in stool samples in SBS patients, unlike non-SBS patients; that SBS patients receiving enteral feeds had greater diversity, and that SBS patients on PN and enteral feeds had lower differences in diversity in jejunal vs. stool samples. We found a trend toward increased diversity in patients with an intact ileocecal valve, and found that certain taxa were more abundant in the certain sample types, and in SBS patients vs. non-SBS patients. SBS patients have lower microbial diversity, especially patients with more severe disease, patients requiring PN, and those lacking an ileocecal valve. SBS patients, particularly those with more complex characteristics, exhibit differences in their intestinal microbiota. Particular individual taxa were over- and under-represented in patients with more unfavorable disease. While diminished diversity and alterations in microbiota composition are likely consequences of SBS, future efforts aimed at increasing microbial diversity and interventions targeting specific microbiota characteristics might constitute a testable approach to ameliorate some clinical SBS clinical consequences. Copyright 2019 Zeichner et al.