Microbiota differ between adult and pediatric SpA patients
medwireNews: Study results suggest that the composition of intestinal microbiota may differ between adults and children with spondyloarthritis (SpA).
As reported in Arthritis Research & Therapy, the researchers found that levels of the anti-inflammatory Faecalibacterium prausnitzii A2-165 strain were depleted in fecal samples from 30 children with treatment-naïve enthesitis-related arthritis and in 11 adult patients with SpA compared with healthy controls, supporting “a potential role of F. prausnitzii in the pathogenesis of SpA” in all patients.
However, levels of another strain, Bacteroides fragilis, were increased in pediatric patients but decreased in adult patients compared with healthy pediatric and adult controls, accounting for a corresponding 2.0% versus 0.5% and 0.2% versus 1.0% of 16S ribosomal DNA sequences.
“B. fragilis may be depleted in adult disease yet abundant in pediatric SpA, suggesting developmental effects on the immune system,” say Matthew Stoll (University of Alabama at Birmingham, USA) and study co-authors.
They note that because an increase of these strains in children “reflects altered immunologic development rather than direct pathogenicity or the organism, enthusiasm for microbial-based interventions to address this organism may be tempered.”
The team adds: “Instead, our findings may underscore the necessity for prevention efforts, such as avoiding unnecessary use of antibiotics in healthy children.”
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