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Functional and phylogenetic alterations in gut microbiome are linked to graft-versus-host disease severity

Abstract : Acute graft-versus-host disease (aGVHD) is the main complication of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). Changes in gut microbiota composition have been associated with subsequent aGVHD, and reconstitution of healthy microbiota is currently being explored as a therapeutic approach. However, the specific actors in the intestinal ecosystem involved in the pathologic process at the time of aGVHD onset are not yet fully known. We prospectively collected stool samples from patients who underwent allogeneic HSCT. Patients sampled at aGVHD onset were compared with non-GVHD patients. To identify phylogenetic and functional signatures of the disease process, we determined fecal short-chain fatty acid (SFCA) profiles and used high-throughput DNA sequencing and real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction to assess the microbiota composition. Microbiota alterations were highly specific of gastrointestinal (GI) aGVHD severity. Bacterial biomass and a-diversity were lower in severe aGVHD. We identified several bacterial signatures associated with severe aGVHD at disease onset; a negative correlation was observed with anaerobic bacteria of the Lachnospiraceae, especially the Blautia genus, and Ruminococcaceae families. In parallel, in severe aGVHD patients, we showed a dramatic decrease in the levels of the main SFCAs: acetate (75.8%), propionate (95.8%), and butyrate (94.6%). Mild aGVHD patients were characterized by conserved levels of propionate and Blautia propionate producers. Butyrate was significantly decreased in all GI aGVHD stages, representing a potential diagnostic marker of the disease. Specific microbiota and metabolic alterations were thus associated with aGVHD severity and may be useful for diagnostic and pathophysiologic purposes.
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Journal articles
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Contributor : Christopher Lallemant <>
Submitted on : Friday, November 6, 2020 - 10:03:18 AM
Last modification on : Tuesday, June 15, 2021 - 2:57:33 PM

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Mathilde Payen, Ioannis Nicolis, Marie Robin, David Michonneau, Johanne Delannoye, et al.. Functional and phylogenetic alterations in gut microbiome are linked to graft-versus-host disease severity. Blood Advances, The American Society of Hematology, 2020, 4 (9), pp.1824-1832. ⟨10.1182/bloodadvances.2020001531⟩. ⟨hal-02991690⟩



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