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Gut microbiota composition in patients with newly diagnosed bipolar disorder and their unaffected first-degree relatives

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OBJECTIVE: An aberrant gut microbiota may be associated with a broad spectrum of diseases including mental illness. The gut microbiota is scarcely studied in bipolar disorder (BD). We examined the gut microbiota composition in patients with newly diagnosed BD, their unaffected first-degree relatives and healthy individuals.

METHODS: Stool samples were collected from 113 patients with BD, 39 unaffected first-degree relatives and 77 healthy individuals and the microbiota was profiled using 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing.

RESULTS: The gut microbiota community membership of patients with BD differed from that of healthy individuals (R2=1.0%, P=0.008), whereas the community membership of unaffected first-degree relatives did not. Flavonifractor was present in 61% of patients with BD, 42% of their unaffected relatives and 39% of healthy individuals. Presence of Flavonifractor was associated with an odds ratio of 2.9 (95%CI: 1.6-5.2, P=5.8x10-4, Q=0.036) for having BD. When excluding smokers, presence of Flavonifractor was associated with an odds ratio of 2.3 (95%CI:1.1-5.3, P=0.019) for having BD. However, when considering the subsample of non-smokers only, BD and presence of Flavonifractor were no longer associated when adjusted for all possible tests at genus level (Q=0.6). Presence of Flavonifractor in patients with BD was associated with smoking and female sex, but not with age, waist circumference, exercise level, high-sensitive C-reactive protein, current affective state, subtype of BD, illness duration or psychotropic medication, respectively.

CONCLUSION: Flavonifractor, a bacterial genus that may induce oxidative stress and inflammation in its host, was associated with BD. Higher prevalence of smoking among patients with BD contributed to our findings, and it cannot be excluded that findings are influenced by residual confounding.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBrain, Behavior, and Immunity
ISSN0889-1591
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 24 Sep 2018

ID: 55376912