A Microbial Association with Autism

Departments of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, Medicine and Pediatrics, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, New York, USA.
mBio (Impact Factor: 6.79). 12/2012; 3(1). DOI: 10.1128/mBio.00019-12
Source: PubMed


Autism is a heterogeneous group of complex developmental disabilities that result from a number of possible etiologies. There
are a well-known number of comorbidities associated with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), including, commonly, gastrointestinal
(GI) pathology, which can include variable combinations of constipation, diarrhea, abdominal pain, gastroesophageal reflux,
and vomiting. An American Academy of Pediatrics consensus panel has recommended that prospective studies be carried out to
determine the prevalence of GI disorders in ASD and their pathophysiologic basis. In a recent article, Williams et al. [B.
L. Williams, M. Hornig, T. Parekh, and W. I. Lipkin, mBio 3(1):e00261-11, 2012] have provided one such study of autism with
GI comorbidities by presenting evidence of Sutterella species in ileal mucosal biopsy specimens from patients diagnosed with ASD but not in control children with GI symptoms,
suggesting a specific role for Sutterella in ASD. Sutterella sequences represented ~1 to 7% of the total bacterial sequences, and this is a very large effect size on the ileal mucosal
composition of the autism phenotype, rivaling or perhaps exceeding the effect size of the ileal Crohn’s disease phenotype.
This study opens a new field of investigation to study the etiology or consequences of GI comorbidities in ASD.

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Available from: Margaret M Mcgovern, Apr 14, 2015
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    • "0.15% children for strict ASD [4] and 0.6-1% for broad ASD [5]. Research on ASD was mainly focused on genetic association but recent evidences suggest that other environmental factors may play a role in the disease [6,7]. Some reports highlighted that cognitive and social functions are somewhat improved in ASD patients, who were subjected to exclusion diet (e.g., gluten-free and/or casein-free diet) or treated with vancomycin [8,9]. "
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    ABSTRACT: This study aimed at investigating the fecal microbiota and metabolome of children with Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS) and autism (AD) in comparison to healthy children (HC). Bacterial tag-encoded FLX-titanium amplicon pyrosequencing (bTEFAP) of the 16S rDNA and 16S rRNA analyses were carried out to determine total bacteria (16S rDNA) and metabolically active bacteria (16S rRNA), respectively. The main bacterial phyla (Firmicutes, Bacteroidetes, Fusobacteria and Verrucomicrobia) significantly (P<0.05) changed among the three groups of children. As estimated by rarefaction, Chao and Shannon diversity index, the highest microbial diversity was found in AD children. Based on 16S-rRNA and culture-dependent data, Faecalibacterium and Ruminococcus were present at the highest level in fecal samples of PDD-NOS and HC children. Caloramator, Sarcina and Clostridium genera were the highest in AD children. Compared to HC, the composition of Lachnospiraceae family also differed in PDD-NOS and, especially, AD children. Except for Eubacterium siraeum, the lowest level of Eubacteriaceae was found on fecal samples of AD children. The level of Bacteroidetes genera and some Alistipes and Akkermansia species were almost the highest in PDD-NOS or AD children as well as almost all the identified Sutterellaceae and Enterobacteriaceae were the highest in AD. Compared to HC children, Bifidobacterium species decreased in AD. As shown by Canonical Discriminant Analysis of Principal Coordinates, the levels of free amino acids and volatile organic compounds of fecal samples were markedly affected in PDD-NOS and, especially, AD children. If the gut microbiota differences among AD and PDD-NOS and HC children are one of the concomitant causes or the consequence of autism, they may have implications regarding specific diagnostic test, and/or for treatment and prevention.
    PLoS ONE 10/2013; 8(10):e76993. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0076993 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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    • "We suggested therefore that S. wadsworthensis is likely a common intestinal commensal. A recent paper on 32 children has however linked S. wadsworthensis to autism [43], generating considerable discussion in the process [44], [45]. We again find within the paediatric population, that this organism is commonly identified and easily recovered from biopsies by culture. "
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    ABSTRACT: Children presenting for the first time with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) offer a unique opportunity to study aetiological agents before the confounders of treatment. Microaerophilic bacteria can exploit the ecological niche of the intestinal epithelium; Helicobacter and Campylobacter are previously implicated in IBD pathogenesis. We set out to study these and other microaerophilic bacteria in de-novo paediatric IBD. 100 children undergoing colonoscopy were recruited including 44 treatment naïve de-novo IBD patients and 42 with normal colons. Colonic biopsies were subjected to microaerophilic culture with Gram-negative isolates then identified by sequencing. Biopsies were also PCR screened for the specific microaerophilic bacterial groups: Helicobacteraceae, Campylobacteraceae and Sutterella wadsworthensis. 129 Gram-negative microaerophilic bacterial isolates were identified from 10 genera. The most frequently cultured was S. wadsworthensis (32 distinct isolates). Unusual Campylobacter were isolated from 8 subjects (including 3 C. concisus, 1 C. curvus, 1 C. lari, 1 C. rectus, 3 C. showae). No Helicobacter were cultured. When comparing IBD vs. normal colon control by PCR the prevalence figures were not significantly different (Helicobacter 11% vs. 12%, p = 1.00; Campylobacter 75% vs. 76%, p = 1.00; S. wadsworthensis 82% vs. 71%, p = 0.312). This study offers a comprehensive overview of the microaerophilic microbiota of the paediatric colon including at IBD onset. Campylobacter appear to be surprisingly common, are not more strongly associated with IBD and can be isolated from around 8% of paediatric colonic biopsies. S. wadsworthensis appears to be a common commensal. Helicobacter species are relatively rare in the paediatric colon. This study is publically registered on the United Kingdom Clinical Research Network Portfolio (9633).
    PLoS ONE 03/2013; 8(3):e58825. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0058825 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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    Digestive Diseases and Sciences 06/2012; 57(8):1987-9. DOI:10.1007/s10620-012-2286-1 · 2.61 Impact Factor
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