Year 2019 / Volume 111 / Number 4
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Year 2019 / Volume 111 / Number 4


An altered fecal microbiota profile in patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) associated with obesity


Esther Nistal, Luis E. Sáenz de Miera, María Ballesteros Pomar, Sonia Sánchez-Campos, María Victoria García-Mediavilla, Begoña Álvarez-Cuenllas, Pedro Linares, José Luis Olcoz, María Teresa Arias-Loste, Juan María García-Lobo, Javier Crespo, Javier González-Gallego, Francisco Jorquera Plaza,

Introduction: increasing evidence suggests a role of intestinal dysbiosis in obesity and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). The advances in recent years with regard to the role of the gut microbiota raise the potential utility of new therapeutic approaches based on the modification of the microbiome. Objective: the aim of this study was to compare the bacterial communities in obese patients with or without NAFLD to those of healthy controls. Patients and methods: the fecal microbiota composition of 20 healthy adults, 36 obese patients with NAFLD and 17 obese patients without NAFLD was determined by 16S ribosomal RNA sequencing using the Illumina MiSeq system. Results: the results highlighted significant differences in the phylum Firmicutes between patients with and without NAFLD, which was a determining factor of the disease and supported its possible role as a marker of NAFLD. At the genus level, the relative abundance of Blautia, Alkaliphilus, Flavobacterium and Akkermansia was reduced in obese patients, both with or without NAFLD, compared to healthy controls. Furthermore, the number of sequences from the genus Streptococcus was significantly higher in patients with NAFLD in comparison with individuals without the disease, constituting another possible marker. Comparison of bacterial communities at the genus level by a principal coordinate analysis indicated that the bacterial communities of patients with NAFLD were dispersed and did not form a group. Conclusion: in conclusion, these results indicate the role of intestinal dysbiosis in the development of NAFLD associated with obesity. There was a differential microbiota profile between obese patients, with and without NAFLD. Thus, supporting gut microbiota modulation as a therapeutic alternative for the prevention and treatment of NAFLD.

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The Spanish Journal of Gastroenterology is the official organ of the Sociedad Española de Patología Digestiva, the Sociedad Española de Endoscopia Digestiva and the Asociación Española de Ecografía Digestiva
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