Deviations in human gut microbiota: a novel diagnostic test for determining dysbiosis in patients with IBS or IBD

Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2015 Jul;42(1):71-83. doi: 10.1111/apt.13236. Epub 2015 May 14.


Background: Dysbiosis is associated with many diseases, including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), obesity and diabetes. Potential clinical impact of imbalance in the intestinal microbiota suggests need for new standardised diagnostic methods to facilitate microbiome profiling.

Aim: To develop and validate a novel diagnostic test using faecal samples to profile the intestinal microbiota and identify and characterise dysbiosis.

Methods: Fifty-four DNA probes targeting ≥300 bacteria on different taxonomic levels were selected based on ability to distinguish between healthy controls and IBS patients in faecal samples. Overall, 165 healthy controls (normobiotic reference collection) were used to develop a dysbiosis model with a bacterial profile and Dysbiosis Index score output. The model algorithmically assesses faecal bacterial abundance and profile, and potential clinically relevant deviation in the microbiome from normobiosis. This model was tested in different samples from healthy volunteers and IBS and IBD patients (n = 330) to determine the ability to detect dysbiosis.

Results: Validation confirms dysbiosis was detected in 73% of IBS patients, 70% of treatment-naïve IBD patients and 80% of IBD patients in remission, vs. 16% of healthy individuals. Comparison of deep sequencing and the GA-map Dysbiosis Test, (Genetic Analysis AS, Oslo, Norway) illustrated good agreement in bacterial capture; the latter showing higher resolution by targeting pre-determined highly relevant bacteria.

Conclusions: The GA-map Dysbiosis Test identifies and characterises dysbiosis in IBS and IBD patients, and provides insight into a patient's intestinal microbiota. Evaluating microbiota as a diagnostic strategy may allow monitoring of prescribed treatment regimens and improvement in new therapeutic approaches.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Bacteria / isolation & purification
  • Diagnostic Tests, Routine / methods
  • Dysbiosis / diagnosis*
  • Feces / microbiology
  • Female
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome*
  • Humans
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / microbiology*
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome / microbiology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Norway
  • Young Adult