Microbiota, Microbial Metabolites, and Barrier Function in A Patient with Anorexia Nervosa after Fecal Microbiota Transplantation

Microorganisms. 2019 Sep 10;7(9):338. doi: 10.3390/microorganisms7090338.


The change in the gut microbiome and microbial metabolites in a patient suffering from severe and enduring anorexia nervosa (AN) and diagnosed with small intestinal bacterial overgrowth syndrome (SIBO) was investigated. Microbial gut dysbiosis is associated with both AN and SIBO, and therefore gut microbiome changes by serial fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) is a possible therapeutic modality. This study assessed the effects of FMT on gut barrier function, microbiota composition, and the levels of bacterial metabolic products. The patient treatment with FMT led to the improvement of gut barrier function, which was altered prior to FMT. Very low bacterial alpha diversity, a lack of beneficial bacteria, together with a great abundance of fungal species were observed in the patient stool sample before FMT. After FMT, both bacterial species richness and gut microbiome evenness increased in the patient, while the fungal alpha diversity decreased. The total short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) levels (molecules presenting an important source of energy for epithelial gut cells) gradually increased after FMT. Contrarily, one of the most abundant intestinal neurotransmitters, serotonin, tended to decrease throughout the observation period. Overall, gut microbial dysbiosis improvement after FMT was considered. However, there were no signs of patient clinical improvement. The need for an in-depth analysis of the donor´s stool and correct selection pre-FMT is evident.

Keywords: Akkermansia; Firmicutes/Bacteroides; fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT); microbial metabolites; microbiome; short-chain fatty acids; small intestinal bacterial overgrowth syndrome.

Publication types

  • Case Reports