Digestive disorders, from gut discomfort to inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) and cancer, are rising in many countries. Research and clinical studies on the interaction of gut microbiota and digestive health, are providing stimulating data. However, their connection is not fully understood and gut fungi have recently been suggested to play a role as well.
A study carried out by Chehoud and co-workers showed that patients with IBD (Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis) had lower bacterial diversity and characteristic fungal communities. The researchers analysed stool samples of IBD paediatric patients compared to healthy subjects. Bacterial, archaeal and fungal communities were analysed by sequencing of rRNA gene segments. The results pointed out a difference in fungi. Candida taxa were significantly more abundant in patients with IBD, whereas Cladosporium was more abundant in healthy subjects. It also confirmed the lower microbial diversity in IBS patients. No difference was reported in Archaea.
Researchers concluded that paediatric IBD was associated with reduced diversity in both fungal and bacterial. In this context, the abundance of specific fungal microbiota, such as Candida, emphasizes their potential application as biomarkers.
Chehoud C, et al. (2015) Fungal Signature in the Gut Microbiota of Pediatric Patients With Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Inflammatory Bowel Diseases 21(8), pp. 1948-1956. doi:10.1097/MIB.0000000000000454