Evaluation of a faecal dysbiosis test for irritable bowel syndrome in subjects with and without obesity

Scand J Clin Lab Invest. 2018 Feb-Apr;78(1-2):109-113. doi: 10.1080/00365513.2017.1419372. Epub 2017 Dec 22.


Biomarkers for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) are demanded. An altered faecal microbiome has been reported in subjects with IBS and could be a valuable biomarker. This study evaluated the diagnostic properties of a new test for faecal dysbiosis, designed to distinguish IBS from healthy volunteers and compared the prevalence rates of dysbiosis related to IBS and morbid obesity. Subjects with and without morbid obesity and IBS were included. The faecal microbiota was assessed with GA-mapTM Dysbiosis Test (Genetic Analysis AS, Oslo, Norway). The test result was given as dysbiosis (yes/no). Comparisons were made between four groups: subjects with IBS and morbid obesity (IBS+/MO+); subjects without IBS and with morbid obesity (IBS-/MO+); subjects with IBS and without morbid obesity (IBS+/MO-); and healthy volunteers (IBS-/MO-).The prevalence rates of dysbiosis in the groups IBS+/MO+, IBS-/MO+, IBS+/MO- and IBS-/MO- were 18/28 (64%), 45/71 (63%), 31/63 (49%) and 38/91 (42%). Dysbiosis was more prevalent in subjects with morbid obesity, both in those with and without IBS, than in healthy volunteers (p values .04 and .006). Used as a diagnostic test for IBS in subjects without morbid obesity, the positive and negative likelihood ratios (LR) were 1.18 (0.83-1.67) and 0.87 (0.65-1.18), respectively, and in subjects with morbid obesity the LR were 1.01 (95% CI: 0.73-1.41) and 0.98 (0.54-1.75) respectively. The dysbiosis test was unsuitable as a diagnostic test for IBS. Dysbiosis was statistically significantly associated with morbid obesity, but not with IBS.

Keywords: Biomarkers; diagnostic tests; dysbiosis; gastrointestinal diseases; irritable bowel syndrome; microbiota; morbid obesity; obesity.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Dysbiosis / complications*
  • Dysbiosis / diagnosis
  • Dysbiosis / epidemiology
  • Dysbiosis / microbiology*
  • Feces / microbiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome / complications*
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome / microbiology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / complications*
  • Obesity / microbiology*
  • Prevalence