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J Med Microbiol. 2007 Dec;56(Pt 12):1669-74.

Imbalance in the composition of the duodenal microbiota of children with coeliac disease.

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Instituto de Agroquímica y Tecnología de Alimentos (Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas), Apartado 73, 46100 Burjassot, Valencia, Spain.

Erratum in

  • J Med Microbiol. 2008 Mar;57(Pt 3):401. Donant, Esther [corrected to Donat, Ester].


Coeliac disease (CD) is the most common immune-mediated enteropathy characterized by chronic inflammation of the small intestinal mucosa. The ingestion of gluten is responsible for the symptoms of CD, but other environmental factors are also thought to play a role in this disorder. In this study, the composition of the duodenal microbiota of coeliac children with active disease, symptom-free CD patients on a gluten-free diet and control children was determined. Bacteriological analyses of duodenal biopsy specimens were carried out by fluorescent in situ hybridization coupled with flow cytometry. The proportions of total bacteria and Gram-negative bacteria were significantly higher in CD patients with active disease than in symptom-free CD patients and controls. Bacteroides and Escherichia coli groups were significantly more abundant in CD patients with active disease than in controls, whilst these bacterial deviations were normalized in symptom-free CD patients. The ratio of Lactobacillus--Bifidobacterium to Bacteroides--E. coli was significantly reduced in coeliac patients with either active or inactive disease compared with controls. The differences in Atopobium, Eubacterium rectale--Clostridium coccoides, Clostridium histolyticum, Clostridium lituseburense, sulphate-reducing bacteria and Faecalibacterium prausnitzii populations among the three groups of children were less relevant. Overall, the higher incidence of Gram-negative and potentially pro-inflammatory bacteria in the duodenal microbiota of coeliac children was linked to the symptomatic presentation of the disease and could favour the pathological process of the disorder.

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