Gut microbiota composition and relapse risk in pediatric MS: A pilot study

J Neurol Sci. 2016 Apr 15:363:153-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jns.2016.02.042. Epub 2016 Feb 20.


We explored the association between baseline gut microbiota (16S rRNA biomarker sequencing of stool samples) in 17 relapsing-remitting pediatric MS cases and risk of relapse over a mean 19.8 months follow-up. From the Kaplan-Meier curve, 25% relapsed within an estimated 166 days from baseline. A shorter time to relapse was associated with Fusobacteria depletion (p=0.001 log-rank test), expansion of the Firmicutes (p=0.003), and presence of the Archaea Euryarchaeota (p=0.037). After covariate adjustments for age and immunomodulatory drug exposure, only absence (vs. presence) of Fusobacteria was associated with relapse risk (hazard ratio=3.2 (95% CI: 1.2-9.0), p=0.024). Further investigation is warranted. Findings could offer new targets to alter the MS disease course.

Keywords: 16S rRNA; Cox regression; Gut microbiota; Kaplan-Meier; Pediatric multiple sclerosis; Relapse risk; Survival analyses.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome / physiology*
  • Genetic Markers / genetics
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Multiple Sclerosis, Relapsing-Remitting / diagnosis*
  • Multiple Sclerosis, Relapsing-Remitting / genetics
  • Multiple Sclerosis, Relapsing-Remitting / microbiology*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Recurrence
  • Risk Factors


  • Genetic Markers