Aim: To determine the composition of both fecal and duodenal mucosa-associated microbiota in irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) patients and healthy subjects using molecular-based techniques.
Methods: Fecal and duodenal mucosa brush samples were obtained from 41 IBS patients and 26 healthy subjects. Fecal samples were analyzed for the composition of the total microbiota using fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) and both fecal and duodenal brush samples were analyzed for the composition of bifidobacteria using real-time polymerase chain reaction.
Results: The FISH analysis of fecal samples revealed a 2-fold decrease in the level of bifidobacteria (4.2 +/- 1.3 vs 8.3 +/- 1.9, P < 0.01) in IBS patients compared to healthy subjects, whereas no major differences in other bacterial groups were observed. At the species level, Bifidobacterium catenulatum levels were significantly lower (6 +/- 0.6 vs 19 +/- 2.5, P < 0.001) in the IBS patients in both fecal and duodenal brush samples than in healthy subjects.
Conclusion: Decreased bifidobacteria levels in both fecal and duodenal brush samples of IBS patients compared to healthy subjects indicate a role for microbiotic composition in IBS pathophysiology.