Nav: Home

Microbiome science may help doctors deliver more effective, personalized treatment to children with irritable bowel syndrome

April 17, 2019

Philadelphia, April 17, 2019 - To improve the treatment of children with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), investigators have developed a sophisticated way to analyze the microbial and metabolic contents of the gut. A report in The Journal of Molecular Diagnostics, published by Elsevier, describes how a new battery of tests enables researchers to distinguish patients with IBS from healthy children and identifies correlations between certain microbes and metabolites with abdominal pain. With this information, doctors envision tailoring nutritional and targeted therapies that address a child's specific gastrointestinal problems.

"This research highlights the importance of the microbiome-gut-brain axis and our understanding of chronic abdominal pain. Development of new disease classifiers based on microbiome data enables precision diagnostics to be developed for IBS and similar disorders. Although other studies have found differences in the gut microbiomes of patients with IBS, this study is the first to combine deep microbiome analysis with development of new diagnostic strategies," explained James Versalovic, MD, PhD, of the Department of Pathology & Immunology at Baylor College of Medicine and the Department of Pathology at Texas Children's Hospital, Houston, TX, USA. The term microbiome refers to the genetic material of all the microbes--bacteria, fungi, protozoa, and viruses--that live on and inside the human body.

Samples for this study were obtained from 23 preadolescent children with IBS (age 7 to 12 years) and 22 healthy controls. Participants were asked to maintain daily pain and stool diaries for two weeks and to provide stool (fecal) samples.

Investigators found that there are differences in bacterial composition, bacterial genes, and fecal metabolites in children with IBS compared to healthy controls. In addition to identifying correlations of these factors with abdominal pain, they generated a highly accurate classifier using metagenomic and metabolic markers that distinguishes children with IBS from healthy controls with 80 percent or greater accuracy. This classifier assesses specific metabolites, types of bacteria, functional pathways, and other factors. "This disease classifier represents a significant advance in the diagnosis of IBS and could be clinically impactful," commented Dr. Versalovic.

This microbiome-based classifier can potentially help identify subpopulations of children with IBS that are more likely to benefit from microbiome-related therapies including diet modification, while guiding others to alternative appropriate treatment plans. The investigators also provide insights into how specific microbiome-related findings may be related to abdominal pain, thus opening up potential novel treatment approaches.

A chronic disease that is evaluated clinically can be stratified in the future based on differences in the composition and function of the intestinal microbiome. Dr. Versalovic envisions that these findings will begin to usher in an era of metagenomics-based, data-driven precision diagnostics for IBS and other functional gastrointestinal disorders. "Microbiome-based diagnosis and disease stratification of patients with IBS means that we create hope for tailored nutrition and targeted therapies in the future, leading to better outcomes for patients with chronic disease," noted Dr. Versalovic.

IBS is a disruptive gastrointestinal condition characterized by bloating, changes in bowel habits, and pain that affects up to 20 percent of the world's population (children and adults). Increasing evidence indicates that the onset and symptoms of IBS are related to the gut microbiome. Deficiencies or excesses of specific gut microbes or metabolites may contribute to the disease process of IBS.
-end-


Elsevier

Related Irritable Bowel Syndrome Articles:

Are steroids used too much for patients with inflammatory bowel disease?
Steroid therapy is commonly used to treat acute attacks of the inflammatory bowel diseases ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease; however, because it does not provide long-term benefits and it carries a risk of serious side effects, it should not be used to treat inflammatory bowel disease for more than three months.
New, noninvasive test for bowel diseases
Gut diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are increasingly prevalent worldwide, especially in industrialized countries.
HKBU discovers mechanisms underlying early life stress and irritable bowel syndrome
Researchers from Hong Kong Baptist University have found that the abnormal rise of a soluble protein called Nerve Growth Factor is a key factor linking early life stress to the development of irritable bowel syndrome.
Microbiome science may help doctors deliver more effective, personalized treatment to children with irritable bowel syndrome
To improve the treatment of children with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), investigators have developed a sophisticated way to analyze the microbial and metabolic contents of the gut.
The Lancet Gastroenterology & Hepatology: Hypnotherapy could help relieve irritable bowel syndrome symptoms
Peer-reviewed / Randomised Controlled Trial / People Gut-directed hypnotherapy delivered by psychologists appears as effective in group or individual sessions, potentially offering a new treatment option for irritable bowel syndrome in primary and secondary care
Early source of irritable bowel syndrome discovered
Michigan State University scientists have identified an early cause of intestinal inflammation, one of the first stages of inflammatory bowel disease and irritable bowel syndrome, which afflict around 11 percent of the world's population.
Listening to gut noises could improve diagnosis of irritable bowel syndrome
Utilizing newly adapted artificial intelligence, researchers have developed an acoustic belt that offers a new way to diagnose irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) by listening to the noises in a patient's gut, according to research presented at Digestive Disease Week® (DDW) 2018.
Biomarkers for irritable bowel syndrome
Little is still known about the exact causes of irritable bowel syndrome.
Study reveals every bowel tumor and bowel cancer cell have unique genetic fingerprints
New research on bowel cancer has shown that every tumor is different, and that every cell within the tumor is genetically unique.
Smoking may cause inflammatory bowel disease
A new study shows for the first time a direct effect of cigarette smoke on bowel inflammation.
More Irritable Bowel Syndrome News and Irritable Bowel Syndrome Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Teaching For Better Humans 2.0
More than test scores or good grades–what do kids need for the future? This hour, TED speakers explore how to help children grow into better humans, both during and after this time of crisis. Guests include educators Richard Culatta and Liz Kleinrock, psychologist Thomas Curran, and writer Jacqueline Woodson.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#556 The Power of Friendship
It's 2020 and times are tough. Maybe some of us are learning about social distancing the hard way. Maybe we just are all a little anxious. No matter what, we could probably use a friend. But what is a friend, exactly? And why do we need them so much? This week host Bethany Brookshire speaks with Lydia Denworth, author of the new book "Friendship: The Evolution, Biology, and Extraordinary Power of Life's Fundamental Bond". This episode is hosted by Bethany Brookshire, science writer from Science News.
Now Playing: Radiolab

Space
One of the most consistent questions we get at the show is from parents who want to know which episodes are kid-friendly and which aren't. So today, we're releasing a separate feed, Radiolab for Kids. To kick it off, we're rerunning an all-time favorite episode: Space. In the 60's, space exploration was an American obsession. This hour, we chart the path from romance to increasing cynicism. We begin with Ann Druyan, widow of Carl Sagan, with a story about the Voyager expedition, true love, and a golden record that travels through space. And astrophysicist Neil de Grasse Tyson explains the Coepernican Principle, and just how insignificant we are. Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.