The intestinal microbiota plays a key role in the maintenance of human health. Alterations in this microbiota have been described in several autoimmune diseases, including nervous system diseases. Nevertheless, the information regarding neuromuscular conditions is still limited. In this study, we aimed at characterizing the intestinal microbiota composition in myasthenia gravis patients (MG). To this end fecal samples were taken from ten patients, with antibodies against the acetylcholine receptor, and ten age and sex matched controls from the same population (Asturias region, Spain). Fecal samples were submitted to microbiota analyses by 16S rRNA gene profiling, bifidobacterial ITS-region profiling and qPCR. The fecal levels of short chain fatty acids were determined by gas chromatography. MG patients were found to harbor lower relative proportions of Verrucomicrobiaceae and Bifidobacteriaceae, among others, and increased of the phylum Bacteroidetes and the family Desulfovibrionaceae. The increase of these latter microbial groups was also confirmed at quantitative level by qPCR. In contrast, no statistically significant differences were found between MG patients and the control group in the bifidobacterial population at the species level or in short chain fatty acids profiles. Our data indicates an altered fecal microbiota pattern in MG patients and point out at specific microbiota targets for intervention in this population.
Fecal microbiota profile in a group of myasthenia gravis patients / Moris, German; Arboleya, Silvia; Mancabelli, Leonardo; Milani, Christian; Ventura, Marco; de los Reyes-Gavilán, Clara G.; Gueimonde, Miguel. - In: SCIENTIFIC REPORTS. - ISSN 2045-2322. - 8:1(2018), p. 14384. [10.1038/s41598-018-32700-y]