Helicobacter pylori infection associates with fecal microbiota composition and diversity.

Fabian Frost, Tim Kacprowski, Malte Rühlemann, Corinna Bang, Andre Franke, Kathrin Zimmermann, Matthias Nauck, Uwe Völker, Henry Völzke, Reiner Biffar, Christian Schulz, Julia Mayerle, Frank U Weiss, Georg Homuth, Markus M Lerch
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Scientific Reports
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Helicobacter (H.) pylori is the most important cause for peptic ulcer disease and a risk factor for gastric carcinoma. How colonization with H. pylori affects the intestinal microbiota composition in humans is unknown. We investigated the association of H. pylori infection with intestinal microbiota composition in the population-based cohort Study-of-Health-in-Pomerania (SHIP)-TREND. Anti-H. pylori serology and H. pylori stool antigen tests were used to determine the H. pylori infection status. The fecal microbiota composition of 212 H. pylori positive subjects and 212 matched negative control individuals was assessed using 16S rRNA gene sequencing. H. pylori infection was found to be significantly associated with fecal microbiota alterations and a general increase in fecal microbial diversity. In infected individuals, the H. pylori stool antigen load determined a larger portion of the microbial variation than age or sex. The highest H. pylori stool antigen loads were associated with a putatively harmful microbiota composition. This study demonstrates profound alterations in human fecal microbiota of H. pylori infected individuals. While the increased microbiota diversity associated with H. pylori infection as well as changes in abundance of specific genera could be considered to be beneficial, others may be associated with adverse health effects, reflecting the complex relationship between H. pylori and its human host.