Gut Microbiota and Metabolic Specificity in Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn's Disease

Jagadesan Sankarasubramanian, Rizwan Ahmad, Nagavardhini Avuthu, Amar B. Singh, Chittibabu Guda

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


Background: Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) represents multifactorial chronic inflammatory conditions in the gastrointestinal tract and includes Crohn's disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC). Despite similarities in pathobiology and disease symptoms, UC and CD represent distinct diseases and exhibit diverse therapeutic responses. While studies have now confirmed that IBD is associated with dramatic changes in the gut microbiota, specific changes in the gut microbiome and associated metabolic effects on the host due to CD and UC are less well-understood. Methods: To address this knowledge gap, we performed an extensive unbiased meta-analysis of the gut microbiome data from five different IBD patient cohorts from five different countries using QIIME2, DIAMOND, and STAMP bioinformatics platforms. In-silico profiling of the metabolic pathways and community metabolic modeling were carried out to identify disease-specific association of the metabolic fluxes and signaling pathways. Results: Our results demonstrated a highly conserved gut microbiota community between healthy individuals and IBD patients at higher phylogenetic levels. However, at or below the order level in the taxonomic rank, we found significant disease-specific alterations. Similarly, we identified differential enrichment of the metabolic pathways in CD and UC, which included enriched pathways related to amino acid and glycan biosynthesis and metabolism, in addition to other metabolic pathways. Conclusions: In conclusion, this study highlights the prospects of harnessing the gut microbiota to improve understanding of the etiology of CD and UC and to develop novel prognostic, and therapeutic approaches.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number606298
JournalFrontiers in Medicine
StatePublished - Nov 27 2020


  • Crohn's disease
  • gut microbiome
  • metabolism
  • prognosis
  • ulcerative colitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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