Detecting Microbial Dysbiosis Associated with Pediatric Crohn Disease Despite the High Variability of the Gut Microbiota

Feng Wang, Jess L. Kaplan, Benjamin D. Gold, Manoj K. Bhasin, Naomi L. Ward, Richard Kellermayer, Barbara S. Kirschner, Melvin B. Heyman, Scot E. Dowd, Stephen B. Cox, Haluk Dogan, Blaire Steven, George D. Ferry, Stanley A. Cohen, Robert N. Baldassano, Christopher J. Moran, Elizabeth A. Garnett, Lauren Drake, Hasan H. Otu, Leonid A. MirnyTowia A. Libermann, Harland S. Winter, Kirill S. Korolev

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


The relationship between the host and its microbiota is challenging to understand because both microbial communities and their environments are highly variable. We have developed a set of techniques based on population dynamics and information theory to address this challenge. These methods identify additional bacterial taxa associated with pediatric Crohn disease and can detect significant changes in microbial communities with fewer samples than previous statistical approaches required. We have also substantially improved the accuracy of the diagnosis based on the microbiota from stool samples, and we found that the ecological niche of a microbe predicts its role in Crohn disease. Bacteria typically residing in the lumen of healthy individuals decrease in disease, whereas bacteria typically residing on the mucosa of healthy individuals increase in disease. Our results also show that the associations with Crohn disease are evolutionarily conserved and provide a mutual information-based method to depict dysbiosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)945-955
Number of pages11
JournalCell Reports
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 2 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Detecting Microbial Dysbiosis Associated with Pediatric Crohn Disease Despite the High Variability of the Gut Microbiota'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this