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J Med Microbiol. 2011 Feb;60(Pt 2):236-45. doi: 10.1099/jmm.0.022848-0. Epub 2010 Oct 14.

Molecular analysis of faecal and duodenal samples reveals significantly higher prevalence and numbers of Pseudomonas aeruginosa in irritable bowel syndrome.

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Gastrointestinal Research Unit, Departments of Gastroenterology and Surgery, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands.


Intestinal microbiota may play a role in the pathophysiology of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). In this case-control study, mucosa-associated small intestinal and faecal microbiota of IBS patients and healthy subjects were analysed using molecular-based methods. Duodenal mucosal brush and faecal samples were collected from 37 IBS patients and 20 healthy subjects. The bacterial 16S rRNA gene was amplified and analysed using PCR denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE). Pooled average DGGE profiles of all IBS patients and all healthy subjects from both sampling sites were generated and fingerprints of both groups were compared. The DGGE band fragments which were confined to one group were further characterized by sequence analysis. Quantitative real-time PCR (q-PCR) was used to quantify the disease-associated microbiota. Averaged DGGE profiles of both groups were identical for 78.2 % in the small intestinal samples and for 86.25 % in the faecal samples. Cloning and sequencing of the specific bands isolated from small intestinal and faecal DGGE patterns of IBS patients showed that 45.8 % of the clones belonged to the genus Pseudomonas, of which Pseudomonas aeruginosa was the predominant species. q-PCR analysis revealed higher levels (P<0.001) of P. aeruginosa in the small intestine of IBS patients (8.3 %±0.950) than in the small intestine of healthy subjects (0.1 %±0.069). P. aeruginosa was also significantly (P<0.001) more abundant (2.34 %±0.31) in faeces of IBS patients than in faeces of healthy subjects (0.003 %±0.0027). This study shows that P. aeruginosa is detected more frequently and at higher levels in IBS patients than in healthy subjects, suggesting its potential role in the pathophysiology of IBS.

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