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Appl Environ Microbiol. 2009 Jun;75(12):3963-71. doi: 10.1128/AEM.02793-08. Epub 2009 Apr 17.

Different fecal microbiotas and volatile organic compounds in treated and untreated children with celiac disease.

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Department of Plant Protection and Applied Microbiology, University of Bari, Italy.


This study aimed at investigating the fecal microbiotas of children with celiac disease (CD) before (U-CD) and after (T-CD) they were fed a gluten-free diet and of healthy children (HC). Brothers or sisters of T-CD were enrolled as HC. Each group consisted of seven children. PCR-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) analysis with V3 universal primers revealed a unique profile for each fecal sample. PCR-DGGE analysis with group- or genus-specific 16S rRNA gene primers showed that the Lactobacillus community of U-CD changed significantly, while the diversity of the Lactobacillus community of T-CD was quite comparable to that of HC. Compared to HC, the ratio of cultivable lactic acid bacteria and Bifidobacterium to Bacteroides and enterobacteria was lower in T-CD and even lower in U-CD. The percentages of strains identified as lactobacilli differed as follows: HC (ca. 38%) > T-CD (ca. 17%) > U-CD (ca. 10%). Lactobacillus brevis, Lactobacillus rossiae, and Lactobacillus pentosus were identified only in fecal samples from T-CD and HC. Lactobacillus fermentum, Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus, and Lactobacillus gasseri were identified only in several fecal samples from HC. Compared to HC, the composition of Bifidobacterium species of T-CD varied, and it varied even more for U-CD. Forty-seven volatile organic compounds (VOCs) belonging to different chemical classes were identified using gas-chromatography mass spectrometry-solid-phase microextraction analysis. The median concentrations varied markedly for HC, T-CD, and U-CD. Overall, the r(2) values for VOC data for brothers and sisters were equal to or lower than those for unrelated HC and T-CD. This study shows the effect of CD pathology on the fecal microbiotas of children.

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