Summary of Giloteaux, L et al; Reduced diversity and altered composition of the gut microbiome in individuals with ME/CFS. Microbiome 2016. Click here for the full article.

Gastrointestinal disturbances are one of the symptoms most commonly reported in patients with myalgic encephalomyelitis, also known as chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS). This study assesses the microbial diversity and inflammatory status of these patients.

49 ME/CFS patients and 39 controls were tested for LBP (Cat. # HK315) as a marker for microbial translocation and I-FABP (Cat. # HK406) as a marker for gastrointestinal tract damage. The results conclude that ME/CFS patients had significantly higher plasma LPS levels than healthy individuals but that the difference in I-FABP levels was not statistically significant. Sequencing of the stool microbiota also showed lower relative abundance of Firmicutes and higher relative abundance of Proteobacteria in ME/CSF samples. It was also observed that members of the Ruminococcaeae and Bifidobacteriaceae were significantly increased in healthy individuals.

Taken together, the study suggests that ongoing damage to the gut mucosa leads to increased microbial translocation in ME/CSF, which in turn could alter antimicrobial regulators and dysregulate the innate immune system. The combination of identifying an altered commensal gut microbiota with the right inflammatory markers could lead to novel diagnostics and therapeutic strategies that would improve clinical outcome.