Gut Bacterial and Fermentation Profiles are Altered in Children with Autism

Select | Print


Wang, Lynn; Christophersen, Claus; Sorich, Michael; Gerber, Jacobus; Angley, Manya; Conlon, Michael

Wang, Lynn; Christophersen, Claus; Sorich, Michael; Gerber, Jacobus; Angley, Manya; Conlon, Michael


2010-10-20


Conference Material


Australian Gastroenterology Week, Gold Coast, Australia, October 2010


1


Autism is a complex neurodevelopmental disorder and recent studies have implicated gastrointestinal factors, including several gut bacterial species, as playing a role in its aetiology. Bacterial fermentation products such as short chain fatty acids (SCFA) are closely associated with gut health and can contribute to various physiological and neurological processes. We have examined whether there are changes in levels of these fermentation products and some bacterial species in children with autism. Methods: Faecal samples (48 h) were collected from children with autism (n=23), siblings (n=22) and community controls (n=9). Total faecal bacterial DNA was isolated and used for estimating numbers of selected bacterial species using quantitative PCR. Faecal concentrations of carbohydrate and protein fermentation products, including short chain fatty acids (SCFA), ammonia, phenol and p-cresol, were measured. Results: There were significant increases in faecal concentrations of total SCFA and propionic acid in children with autism compared to community controls (p=0.023 & p=0.003). Moreover, a higher ammonia level appeared in children with autism than siblings (p=0.01). In addition, significantly lower Bifidobacteria numbers were shown in the faeces of children with autism compared to siblings and community controls (p=0.009). Numbers of an important butyrate-producing bacteria, Faecalibacterium prausnitzii, were not significantly different between groups. Conclusions: Our data indicate that gut bacterial population profiles and fermentation processes are altered in autistic children. Since fermentation and microbial activity are influenced by diet, food selection may be important in managing autism if changes in gut bacteria and /or bacterial fermentation contribute to the disorder.


Gastroenterological Society of Australia


Gold Coast, Qld.


Paediatrics


© CSIRO 2010


EP102364


Conference Abstract


English


Wang, Lynn; Christophersen, Claus; Sorich, Michael; Gerber, Jacobus; Angley, Manya; Conlon, Michael. Gut Bacterial and Fermentation Profiles are Altered in Children with Autism. In: Australian Gastroenterology Week; October 2010; Gold Coast, Australia. Gold Coast, Qld.: Gastroenterological Society of Australia; 2010. 1.



Loading citation data...

Citation counts
(Requires subscription to view)