findings are by a team of researchers from the Center for Infection and
Immunity (CII) at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health.
‘Identifying the specific bacteria involved in chronic fatigue syndrome will help in developing more accurate diagnosis and targeted therapies.’
This is the
first study to associate imbalances in the gut bacteria in individuals with
ME/CFS and IBS.
also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis or ME, is a complex, debilitating
disorder, without any identifiable medical cause.
by extreme fatigue that increases after physical and mental exertion. Other
symptoms may include muscle and joint pain, cognitive dysfunction and sleep
and these symptoms do not improve with rest.
usually affects people between 20-40 years of age. In the UK, around 250,000
people are estimated to have CFS.
90% of people with ME/CFS also have IBS.
the study, 100 people were recruited. Among them 50 patients had CFS and the
remaining 50 served as healthy controls.
participants were tested for bacterial species in fecal samples, and for immune
molecules in blood samples.
results showed that ME/CFS was strongly associated with distinct levels
intestinal bacterial species like Faecalibacterium, Roseburia, Dorea,
Coprococcus, Clostridium, Ruminococcus, Coprobacillus, and their combined relative
abundance appeared to be predictive of diagnosis.
people who have ME/CFS with IBS, the top biomarkers were increased abundance of
unclassified Alistipes and decreased Faecalibacterium.
in people without IBS, the top biomarkers were increased unclassified
Bacteroides abundance and decreased Bacteroides vulgatus.
analysis of metabolic pathways associated with disturbances in gut bacteria
revealed distinct differences between ME/CFS relative to healthy controls.
were no changes in immune markers suggesting that immune changes may only be
evident when comparing short and long duration cases.
with ME/CFS have a distinct mix of gut bacteria and related metabolic
disturbances that may influence the severity of their disease," says
co-lead investigator Dorottya Nagy-Szakal, postdoctoral research scientist at
analysis suggests that we may be able to subtype patients with ME/CFS by
analyzing their fecal microbiome," says co-lead investigator Brent L.
Williams, assistant professor of Pathology and Cell Biology at CII.
"Subtyping may provide clues to understanding differences in
manifestations of disease."
like IBS, ME/CFS may involve a breakdown in the bidirectional communication
between the brain and the gut mediated by bacteria, their metabolites, and the
molecules they influence," says senior author W. Ian Lipkin, director of
CII and John Snow Professor of Epidemiology at Columbia's Mailman School.
"By identifying the specific bacteria involved, we are one step closer to
more accurate diagnosis and targeted therapies."
findings are published in the journal Microbiome
- Chronic fatigue syndrome - (http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/chronic-fatigue-syndrome/basics/definition/con-20022009)
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome - (http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Chronic-fatigue-syndrome/Pages/Introduction.aspx)