Salivary and fecal microbiota and metabolome of celiac children under gluten-free diet

Int J Food Microbiol. 2016 Dec 19:239:125-132. doi: 10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro.2016.07.025. Epub 2016 Jul 19.


Celiac disease (CD) is an inflammatory autoimmune disorder resulting from the combination of genetic predisposition and gluten ingestion. A life-long gluten free diet (GFD) is the only therapeutic approach. Dysbiosis, which can precede the CD pathogenesis and/or persist when subjects are on GFD, is reviewed and discussed. Salivary microbiota and metabolome differed between healthy and celiac children treated under GFD (T-CD) for at least two years. The type of GFD (African- vs Italian-style) modified the microbiota and metabolome of Saharawi T-CD children. Different studies showed bacterial dysbiosis at duodenal and/or fecal level of patients with active untreated CD (U-CD) and T-CD compared to healthy subjects. The ratio of protective anti-inflammatory bacteria such as Lactobacillus-Bifidobacterium to potentially harmful Bacteroides-Enterobacteriaceae was the lowest in U-CD and T-CD children. In agreement with dysbiosis, serum, fecal and urinary metabolome from U-CD and T-CD patients showed altered levels of free amino acids and volatile organic compounds. However, consensus across studies defining specific bacteria and metabolites in U-CD or T-CD patients is still lacking. Future research efforts are required to determine the relationships between CD and oral and intestinal microbiotas to improve the composition of GFD for restoring the gut dysbiosis as a preventative or therapeutic approach for CD.

Keywords: Celiac disease; Gluten-free diet; Metabolome; Microbiota.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acids / urine
  • Bacteroides / isolation & purification
  • Bifidobacterium / isolation & purification
  • Celiac Disease / diet therapy*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Diet, Gluten-Free*
  • Duodenum / microbiology*
  • Dysbiosis / microbiology*
  • Enterobacteriaceae / isolation & purification
  • Feces / microbiology
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome / physiology*
  • Glutens / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Lactobacillus / isolation & purification
  • Metabolome
  • Probiotics / therapeutic use
  • Saliva / microbiology*
  • Volatile Organic Compounds / urine


  • Amino Acids
  • Volatile Organic Compounds
  • Glutens