A gut microbiome signature for cirrhosis due to nonalcoholic fatty liver disease

Nat Commun. 2019 Mar 29;10(1):1406. doi: 10.1038/s41467-019-09455-9.


The presence of cirrhosis in nonalcoholic-fatty-liver-disease (NAFLD) is the most important predictor of liver-related mortality. Limited data exist concerning the diagnostic accuracy of gut-microbiome-derived signatures for detecting NAFLD-cirrhosis. Here we report 16S gut-microbiome compositions of 203 uniquely well-characterized participants from a prospective twin and family cohort, including 98 probands encompassing the entire spectrum of NAFLD and 105 of their first-degree relatives, assessed by advanced magnetic-resonance-imaging. We show strong familial correlation of gut-microbiome profiles, driven by shared housing. We report a panel of 30 features, including 27 bacterial features with discriminatory ability to detect NAFLD-cirrhosis using a Random Forest classifier model. In a derivation cohort of probands, the model has a robust diagnostic accuracy (AUROC of 0.92) for detecting NAFLD-cirrhosis, confirmed in a validation cohort of relatives of proband with NAFLD-cirrhosis (AUROC of 0.87). This study provides evidence for a fecal-microbiome-derived signature to detect NAFLD-cirrhosis.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Bacteria / classification
  • Family
  • Feces / microbiology
  • Female
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome*
  • Humans
  • Liver Cirrhosis / microbiology*
  • Male
  • Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease / microbiology*
  • ROC Curve