Gut Microbiota Is Altered in Pediatric Patients Newly Diagnosed With IBD


Despite sharing the same genetics and environment, pediatric patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and their healthy siblings show significant differences in gut microbiota, while healthy siblings and healthy unrelated controls do not demonstrate any significant differences, according to a new study. 

As many as 80,000 children in the United States are estimated to have some form of IBD. The cause of this disease is still unknown, though genetics is suspected to play a role. In this study, the researchers sought to find out what differences, if any, existed in the gut microbiota of pediatric patients with IBD and their healthy siblings. 

The participants included newly diagnosed pediatric patients with IBD (n=19, mean age 14.8±0.65 years), healthy siblings (n=20, mean age 12.8±0.85 years), and unrelated healthy controls (n=19, mean age 10.7±0.8 years). Using a molecular approach that targeted 16S ribosomal RNA, the researchers analyzed participants’ stool samples. 

The results revealed significant differences in microbial diversity between the participants with IBD, healthy siblings, and healthy controls. Those with IBD had reduced Eubacterium, Lactobacillus, Enterobacter, and Clostridium, and increased Streptococcus, Prevotella, and Escherichia, compared with their healthy siblings and controls.  

Healthy siblings and healthy controls showed no significant difference in microbial diversity.

Newly diagnosed pediatric patients with IBD show significantly less diverse microbiota and microbial composition compared with healthy siblings and healthy controls,” the researchers concluded.

—Rebecca Mashaw



Sila S, Jelić M, Trivić I, Andrašević AT, Hojsak I, Kolaček S. Altered gut microbiota is present in newly diagnosed pediatric patients with inflammatory bowel disease. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2020;70(4):497-502.