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08-02-2016 | Microbiome | Article

Intestinal microbiota distinguish gout patients from healthy humans

Zhuang Guo, Jiachao Zhang, Zhanli Wang, Kay Ying Ang, Shi Huang, Qiangchuan Hou, Xiaoquan Su, Jianmin Qiao, Yi Zheng, Lifeng Wang, Eileen Koh, Ho Danliang, Jian Xu, Yuan Kun Lee, Heping Zhang


Current blood-based approach for gout diagnosis can be of low sensitivity and hysteretic. Here via a 68-member cohort of 33 healthy and 35 diseased individuals, we reported that the intestinal microbiota of gout patients are highly distinct from healthy individuals in both organismal and functional structures. In gout, Bacteroides caccae and Bacteroides xylanisolvens are enriched yet Faecalibacterium prausnitzii and Bifidobacterium pseudocatenulatum depleted. The established reference microbial gene catalogue for gout revealed disorder in purine degradation and butyric acid biosynthesis in gout patients. In an additional 15-member validation-group, a diagnosis model via 17 gout-associated bacteria reached 88.9% accuracy, higher than the blood-uric-acid based approach. Intestinal microbiota of gout are more similar to those of type-2 diabetes than to liver cirrhosis, whereas depletion of Faecalibacterium prausnitzii and reduced butyrate biosynthesis are shared in each of the metabolic syndromes. Thus the Microbial Index of Gout was proposed as a novel, sensitive and non-invasive strategy for diagnosing gout via fecal microbiota.

Sci Rep 2016; 6: 20602. doi:10.1038/srep20602

Gout is an auto-inflammatory disease caused by a disorder in purine metabolism and the resulted chronic elevation of blood uric acid (i.e., hyperuricemia)1. With increased intake of high protein food in many societies, incidents of gout has been expanding at an alarm rate worldwide2. In 2011, prevalence of gout in US adults is about 3.9%, and that of hyperuricemia which is a precondition for developing gout reached up to 21%3. In UK, prevalence of gout has risen to 2.5% of the general population in 2012, an increase of 63.9% since 19974. In China, gout was previously extremely rare, yet the number of confirmed cases has reached 75 million by the end of 20105.

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