Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Inflammatory Bowel Disease Linked to Gut Microbiome Community Structure Gradient in Meta-Analysis

A team led by investigators at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the Broad Institute describe specific microbial taxa and microbial community structures that seem to coincide with inflammatory bowel disease across the population for a paper appearing in Genome Biology. Using a statistical framework called "meta-analysis methods with a uniform pipeline for heterogeneity in microbiome studies" (MMUPHin), the researchers analyzed 16S ribosomal RNA sequence data from 5,151 samples collected from almost 2,200 individuals with or without ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease from 10 previous studies. "We found both previously documented and novel microbial links to the disease, with further differentiation among subtypes, phenotypic severity, and treatment effects," they report, noting that although Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis did not show ties to specific, reproducible microbiome-related subtypes, their results point to "a population structure gradient from less to more 'pro-inflammatory' ecological configurations."