16s rRNA profiling of Inflammatory Bowel Syndrome reveals possible role of microbiota disturbance and fecal microbiota as a remedy

IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) affects between 25 and 45 million Americans. Most of them are women. People are most likely to get the condition in their late teens to early 40s. It is hypothesized that disturbance in gut microbiota may be responsible for IBS.

Mazzawi et al observed that fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) in diarrhea-predominant IBS (IBS-D) help improve condition and gut microbiota was found to change after FMT. The study included 13 patients (four females and nine males) with IBS-D according to Rome III criteria and 13 healthy donors. Fecal samples were collected and were administered into duodenum via gastroscopy. Microbiodata analysis was performed using 16s rRNA sequencing on Illumina MiSeq sequencer. Phylogenetic analysis was performed to identify Operational Taxonomic Unit (OTU) via clustering. OTU clustering enabled researchers to track gut microbiota profile. Significant correlations were found between the gut microenvironment and IBS symptoms.

Figure below depicts the overall process of 16s rRNA profiling and phylogenetic analysis to establish differences in healthy and IBS patients.

16s rRNA profiling & phylogenetic analysis

Bacterial DNA was isolated and that 16s rRNA were sequences. OTU clustering was performed to analyze phylogenetic tree in order to correlate gut microbiodata between control and reported samples. Comparative analysis reveals that FMT restores alterations of the gut microenvironment in IBS patients during the first 3 weeks and improves their symptoms for up to 28 weeks.

Next Generation Sequencing and 16s rRNA biodiversity analysis helped in identify role of metagenome in IBS. 16s rRNA biodiversity analysis or similar metagenomics analysis across healthy and diseases conditions can be used to characterize differences across two conditions and perhaps help development of transplant techniques to restore normal flora towards treatment. Additional non-invasive methods of delivering correct microbiota to a specific region of gut may offer a less painful and low risk procedure.

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