Gut Liver.  2021 Mar;15(2):253-261. 10.5009/gnl19379.

Compositional and Functional Changes in the Gut Microbiota in Irritable Bowel Syndrome Patients

  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, Seongnam, Korea
  • 2Department of Internal Medicine and Liver Research Institute, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
  • 3Digestive Disease Research Institute, Wonkwang University, Iksan, and 4 DCNbio, Seongnam, Korea


This study aimed to characterize the changes in the gut microbiota of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) patients and to investigate the consequent alterations in bacterial functions.
We performed 16S rRNA metagenomic sequencing and a phylogenetic investigation of communities by reconstruction of unobserved states (PICRUSt) analyses using fecal samples from control (n=12) and diarrhea-dominant IBS patients (n=7).
The samples were clustered by the principal coordinates analysis depending on the presence of IBS (p=0.003). In the IBS patients, the abundances of Acidaminococcaceae, Sutterellaceae, and Desulfovibrionaceae were significantly increased, while those of Enterococcaceae, Leuconostocaceae, Clostridiaceae, Peptostreptococcaceae, and Lachnospiraceae were significantly decreased. The PICRUSt results indicated that two orthologues involved in secondary bile acid biosynthesis were significantly decreased in IBS patients. Modules involved in multidrug resistance, lipopolysaccharide biosynthesis, the reductive citrate cycle, and the citrate cycle were significantly increased in the IBS patients. In contrast, modules involved in cationic antimicrobial peptide resistance, and some transport systems were more abundant in controls than in IBS patients.
Changes in the gut microbiota composition in IBS patients lead to alterations in bacterial functions, such as bile acid transformation and the induction of inflammation, which is a known pathophysiological mechanism of IBS.


Irritable bowel syndrome; Gastrointestinal microbiome
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