To help understand the cause of spondyloarthritis (SpA), this study investigated the microbiota of children at increased risk of developing SpA based on a family history of ankylosing spondylitis (AS) and HLA-B27 status.
Dr. Gensler’s research group analyzed the intestinal microbiota of the offspring of patients with AS. The offspring were further divided based on HLA-B27+/- status. F. prausnitzii was the key organism associated with HLA-B27+ status.
The research team also evaluated the microbiota in the offspring diagnosed with SpA and those without disease. The offspring in this category all had HLA-B27+ status. Notably, B. fragilis was associated with juvenile SpA patients, and F. prausnitzii had a higher abundance in those without SpA.
While F. prausnitzii was associated with HLA-B27+ status, it was depleted in juvenile SpA patients. This suggests that although HLA-B27 status can influence the microbiota, this alteration may not influence the development of SpA.
Research team included: Dr. Lianne S. Gensler (Principle Investigator), Dr. Matthew L. Stoll, Dr. Kimberly DeQuattro, Dr. Zhixiu Li, Dr. Henna Sawhney, Dr. Pamela F. Weiss, Dr. Peter A. Nigrovic, Dr. Tracey B. Wright, Dr. Kenneth Schikler, Dr. Barbara Edelheit, Dr. Casey D. Morrow, Dr. John D. Reveille, and Dr. Matthew A. Brown. Plain language summary by Joseph Stenberg.