Swedish researchers led by Jens Nielsen from Chalmers University of Technology report that the gut microbiomes of patients with symptomatic atherosclerotic plaques are enriched with Collinsella, while controls had higher levels of Eubacterium and Roseburia. As they write in Nature Communications, the investigators sequenced the fecal microbiomes of 12 patients with symptomatic atherosclerotic plaques and 13 matched controls, and examined the taxonomic makeup of those sequences.
They found that patients also had increased numbers of genes in their fecal microbiomes that were related to peptidoglycan biosynthesis, as compared to controls. Meanwhile, the researchers also note that controls had higher levels of phytoene dehydrogenase in their gut microbiomes than patients did. "Within the metagenome, genes in the peptidoglycan pathway were enriched in patients, whereas genes involved in synthesis of anti-inflammatory molecules (for example, butyrate) and antioxidants were enriched in controls, suggesting that the metagenome may contribute to the development of symptomatic atherosclerosis by acting as a regulator of host inflammatory pathways," the researchers conclude.
The researchers add at Scientific Blogging that such findings could help in the development of probiotics and that they have started a company, called Metabogen, to do so. "We think that the bacterial species in the probiotics would establish themselves as a permanent culture in the gut and have a long-term effect," Nielsen says.