Microbiota and metabolome associated with immunoglobulin A nephropathy (IgAN)

PLoS One. 2014 Jun 12;9(6):e99006. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0099006. eCollection 2014.


This study aimed at investigating the fecal microbiota, and the fecal and urinary metabolome of non progressor (NP) and progressor (P) patients with immunoglobulin A nephropathy (IgAN). Three groups of volunteers were included in the study: (i) sixteen IgAN NP patients; (ii) sixteen IgAN P patients; and (iii) sixteen healthy control (HC) subjects, without known diseases. Selective media were used to determine the main cultivable bacterial groups. Bacterial tag-encoded FLX-titanium amplicon pyrosequencing of the 16S rDNA and 16S rRNA was carried out to determine total and metabolically active bacteria, respectively. Biochrom 30 series amino acid analyzer and gas-chromatography mass spectrometry/solid-phase microextraction (GC-MS/SPME) analyses were mainly carried out for metabolomic analyses. As estimated by rarefaction, Chao and Shannon diversity index, the lowest microbial diversity was found in P patients. Firmicutes increased in the fecal samples of NP and, especially, P patients due to the higher percentages of some genera/species of Ruminococcaceae, Lachnospiraceae, Eubacteriaceae and Streptococcaeae. With a few exceptions, species of Clostridium, Enterococcus and Lactobacillus genera were found at the highest levels in HC. Bacteroidaceae, Porphyromonadaceae, Prevotellaceae and Rikenellaceae families differed among NP, P and HC subjects. Sutterellaceae and Enterobacteriaceae species were almost the highest in the fecal samples of NP and/or P patients. Compared to HC subjects, Bifidobacterium species decreased in the fecal samples of NP and P. As shown by multivariate statistical analyses, the levels of metabolites (free amino acids and organic volatile compounds) from fecal and urinary samples markedly differentiated NP and, especially, P patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Glomerulonephritis, IGA / microbiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Metabolome*
  • Microbiota*
  • Middle Aged

Grant support

This work was founded by the University of Bari Aldo Moro and the University of Bologna. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.