Poster: Gut microbiota of celiac patients: a history of diversity?

May 28, 2019

Thomas Carton, Pauline Vaissié, Lou Beuvin, Yao Amouzou, Sophie Le Fresne, Sébastien Leuillet, Clémentine Méry, and ProtAlSafe Consortium


This Poster was presented in May 2019 at Global Engage’s event: "Microbiome & Probiotics Series: Europe", in Rotterdam.


The aim of this study was to investigate the gut microbiota of celiac patients, in order to compare them to the gut microbiota of healthy patients.


Celiac disease, or gluten intolerance, is an autoimmune disorder affecting 1% of the population. It is characterized by an abnormal reaction of the immune system to gluten that causes inflammation and atrophy of intestinal microvilli leading to malabsorption.


By acting on both digestion and the immune system, the microbiota plays a role in gluten tolerance, but the composition of the microbiota of celiac patients is still poorly explored.


Within the ProtAlSafe project, a cohort of celiac has been recruited to study the intestinal flora by 16S metasequencing of V3V4 regions. Results were compared to a healthy people cohort coming from Biofortis biocollection.


The first basic statistic analyses conducted on relative abundances at Phylum, Family and genus levels didn’t show significant difference and further investigations have been made at community level on β-diversity.


By taking only the first dimension of diversity (richness), Principal Coordinates Analysis plan shows no clear separation between the two study groups. Nevertheless, the addition of a second dimension (evenness) marked a strong split of the celiac and healthy populations.


Lastly, it is clear that adding the third dimension of diversity (disparity) does not add any information compared to non-phylogenetic distances. The partition is thus essentially based on differences of evenness and not of disparity or richness.


According to the literature, the difference could be linked to the pathology itself, but also to the specific diet of celiac people even if their respective parts are still questionable. By considering a link with the pathology, these different elements would support the existence of a substantially different flora balance in celiac patients, without being able to distinguish a taxa in particular as being the so-sought "biomarker" of celiac disease.


Moreover, this study highlighted the fact that, among the methods available, beta diversity is of interest, but paying attention to considering it in its three dimensions to improve our understanding of gut microbiota.



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