Intestinal microbiome in children with severe and complicated acute viral gastroenteritis

Sci Rep. 2017 Apr 11:7:46130. doi: 10.1038/srep46130.


The aim of the present study was to evaluate the microbiota of children with severe or complicated acute viral gastroenteritis (AGE). To that end, next-generation sequencing (NGS) technology was used to sequence the 16S ribosomal RNA (16S rRNA) gene in 20 hospitalized pediatric patients with severe or complicated AGE and a further 20 otherwise healthy children; the fecal microbiome was then assessed. Comparative metagenomics data were analyzed by a Wilcoxon rank-sum test and hierarchical clustering analysis of bacterial reads. The statistical analyses showed a significantly decreased Shannon diversity index (entropy score) of the intestinal microbiota in patients with severe AGE compared with normal controls (P = 0.017) and patients with mild-to-moderate AGE (P = 0.011). The intestinal microbiota score of the 5 patients with rotavirus AGE was significantly lower than that of those with norovirus infection (P = 0.048). Greater richness in Campylobacteraceae (P = 0.0003), Neisseriaceae (P = 0.0115), Methylobacteriaceae (P = 0.0004), Sphingomonadaceae (P = 0.0221), and Enterobacteriaceae (P = 0.0451) was found in patients with complicated AGE compared with normal controls. The data suggest a significant reduction in intestinal microbial diversity in patients with severe AGE, particularly those with rotavirus infection.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Biodiversity
  • Caliciviridae Infections / microbiology
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Child
  • Gastroenteritis / microbiology*
  • Gastroenteritis / virology*
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome* / genetics
  • Humans
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S / genetics
  • Rotavirus Infections / microbiology
  • Sequence Analysis, RNA
  • Severity of Illness Index*


  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S