Microbial changes in stool, saliva, serum, and urine before and after anti-TNF-α therapy in patients with inflammatory bowel diseases

Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, are chronic immune-mediated intestinal inflammatory disorders associated with microbial dysbiosis at multiple sites, particularly the gut.


Anti-tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) agents are important treatments for IBD. We investigated whether microbiome changes at multiple sites can predict the effectiveness of such treatment in IBD. Stool, saliva, serum, and urine biosamples were collected from 19 IBD patients before (V1) and 3 months after (V2) anti-TNF-α treatment, and 19 healthy subjects (control).


Microbiota analysis was performed using extracellular vesicles (EVs; all four sample types) and next-generation sequencing (NGS; stool and saliva). The stool, using NGS analysis, was the only sample type in which α-diversity differed significantly between the IBD and control groups at V1 and V2. Relative to non-responders, responders to anti-TNF-α treatment had significantly higher levels of Firmicutes (phylum), Clostridia (class), and Ruminococcaceae (family) in V1 stool, and Prevotella in V1 saliva. Non-responders had significantly higher V2 serum and urine levels of Lachnospiraceae than responders. Finally, Acidovorax caeni was detected in all V1 sample types in responders, but was not detected in non-responders.


Microbiome changes at multiple sites may predict the effectiveness of anti-TNF-α treatment in IBD, warranting further research.



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Published: 15 April 2022

Nature - Scientific Reports; DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-022-10450-2