Gastrointestinal microbiota and metabolite biomarkers in children with autism spectrum disorders

Biomark Med. 2014;8(3):331-44. doi: 10.2217/bmm.14.12.


Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder. Many affected individuals also display symptoms of gastrointestinal (GI) disturbance, suggesting GI factors may play an important role in the pathogenesis of ASD and/or related complications. The current review will focus on evidence supporting a role for the GI microbiota and their fermentation products in the etiology and/or symptoms of ASD, and their potential use as biomarkers. GI-related biomarkers could potentially enable early identification of ASD at risk of GI disturbance, and thereby guide targeted interventions, potentially improving the health and quality of life of affected individuals.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Biomarkers / metabolism*
  • Child Development Disorders, Pervasive / complications
  • Child Development Disorders, Pervasive / metabolism*
  • Child Development Disorders, Pervasive / pathology
  • Clostridium / isolation & purification
  • Constipation / complications
  • Constipation / drug therapy
  • Diarrhea / complications
  • Diarrhea / drug therapy
  • Gastrointestinal Tract / microbiology*
  • Humans
  • Microbiota*
  • Probiotics / therapeutic use


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Biomarkers