Comparison of the gut microbiome composition among individuals with acute or long-standing spinal cord injury vs. able-bodied controls

Li J., Van Der Pol W., Eraslan M., McLain A., ÇETİN H., ÇETİN B., ...More

JOURNAL OF SPINAL CORD MEDICINE, vol.45, no.1, pp.91-99, 2022 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 45 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/10790268.2020.1769949
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, CINAHL, EMBASE, MEDLINE
  • Page Numbers: pp.91-99
  • Keywords: Spinal cord injury, Gut dysbiosis, Metabolic disorders, Inflammation, FECAL MICROBIOTA, INTESTINAL MICROBIOTA, TRANSLOCATION, COLONIZATION, INFLAMMATION
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


Objective: Compare the gut microbiome composition among individuals with acute spinal cord injury (A-SCI), long-standing SCI (L-SCI), vs. able-bodied (AB) controls. Design: Cross-sectional study. Setting: The University of Alabama at Birmingham. Participants: Seven adults with A-SCI (36 +/- 12 years, 2F/5M, C4-T10, and American Spinal Injury Association Impairment Scale [AIS] A-D), 25 with L-SCI (46 +/- 13 years, 6F/19M, C4-L1, and AIS A-D), and 25 AB controls (42 +/- 13 years, 9F/16M). Methods: Stool samples were collected after a median of 7 days and 18 years after injury in the A-SCI and L-SCI groups, respectively. Gut microbiome composition was analyzed using the 16S rRNA sequencing technique and QIIME software. The abundances of bacteria communities among groups were compared using the Kruskal-Wallis test adjusted for age. Results: Several alpha diversity indices were different among groups (Chao1, Observed species, and Phylogenetic Diversity), but not others (Shannon and Simpson). Beta diversity differed among each pair of groups (P < 0.05). A number of microbial communities were differentially abundant among the groups (P < 0.05). Conclusion: Our results revealed differences in the gut microbiome composition among groups. Compared to the AB controls, the SCI groups demonstrated microbiome profiles that shared features linked to metabolic syndrome, inflammation-related bowel disorders, depressive disorders, or antibiotics use, whereas the L-SCI group's microbiome included features linked to reduced physical activity compared to the A-SCI and AB controls. Our results provided preliminary data and a scientific foundation for future studies investigating the impact of the gut microbiome composition on long-term health in individuals with SCI.