Basic Study
Copyright ©The Author(s) 2019. Published by Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.
World J Gastroenterol. May 14, 2019; 25(18): 2204-2216
Published online May 14, 2019. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v25.i18.2204
Characteristics of mucosa-associated gut microbiota during treatment in Crohn’s disease
Cong He, Huan Wang, Wang-Di Liao, Chao Peng, Xu Shu, Xuan Zhu, Zhen-Hua Zhu
Cong He, Huan Wang, Wang-Di Liao, Chao Peng, Xu Shu, Xuan Zhu, Zhen-Hua Zhu, Department of Gastroenterology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Nanchang University, Nanchang 330006, Jiangxi Province, China
Author contributions: He C, Wang H and Liao WD contributed to equally to this work; He C and Zhu ZH designed the research; Wang H, Liao WD, Peng C, Shu X and Zhu X enrolled the qualified patients and collected the mucosal samples; Wang H analyzed the information of the patients during treatment; He C performed the bioinformatic analysis and wrote the paper; all authors have read and approved the final version to be published.
Supported by: the National Natural Science Foundation of China, No. 81660101 and No. 81860106; the Special Scientific Research Fund of Public Welfare Profession of National Health and Family Planning Commission, No. 201502026; and the Graduate Innovation Fund of Nanchang University, No. CX2017251.
Institutional review board statement: The study was reviewed and approved by the Medical Ethics Committee of Nanfang Hospital. All routine colonic biopsy specimens from the patients were taken after informed consent and ethical permission was obtained for participation in the study.
Conflict-of-interest statement: To the best of our knowledge, no conflict of interest exists.
Open-Access: This article is an open-access article which was selected by an in-house editor and fully peer-reviewed by external reviewers. It is distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:
Corresponding author: Zhen-Hua Zhu, PhD, Doctor, Department of Gastroenterology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Nanchang University, 17 Yong Waizheng Street, Donghu District, Nanchang 330006, Jiangxi Province, China.
Telephone: +86-791-88692705 Fax: +86-791-88623153
Received: January 6, 2019
Peer-review started: January 7, 2019
First decision: March 13, 2019
Revised: March 25, 2019
Accepted: April 10, 2019
Article in press: April 10, 2019
Published online: May 14, 2019
Research background

Accumulating evidence demonstrated the alterations of gut microbiota in patients with Crohn’s disease (CD) compared to healthy subjects. However, comparative analysis of mucosal microbiota in the same cohort of patients before and after treatment remains limited. The different characteristics of mucosa-associated gut microbiota between active and quiescent CD may provide as a predictive tool for disease relapse as well as a potential therapeutic target for treatment.

Research motivation

Most studies investigating the gut microbiota of CD have used fecal samples while only few studies have investigated the mucosal microbiota, which is believed to directly affect epithelial function and may be more deeply involved in the pathogenesis of CD. Although the dysbiosis of gut microbiota have been reported in patients with CD as compared with healthy controls, the microbial changes during treatment and their association with disease activity are largely unknown.

Research objectives

To illustrate the global alterations of mucosa-associated microbiota in patients with active CD before and after treatment.

Research methods

A total of 74 mucosal biopsies were collected from 15 participants including 9 patients with CD and 6 healthy individuals. Sampling included both active and remission stages for each patient who underwent clinical treatment. The gut microbiota was sequenced by 16S rRNA analysis.

Research results

Our results showed that the structure of gut microbiota in patients with active CD changed significantly after the induction of remission, including the decreased abundance of pathogenic bacteria and increased abundance of beneficial bacteria.

Research conclusions

The dysbiosis of mucosa-associated gut microbiota in active CD was partially restored after treatment, indicating the association of microbiota and disease activity.

Research perspectives

The variations of gut microbiota may act as a tool to supervise and predict the recurrence of CD, and the maintenance of microbial homeostasis could become a potential therapeutic target for the disease.