Fungal Dysbiosis in Children with Celiac Disease

Dig Dis Sci. 2022 Jan;67(1):216-223. doi: 10.1007/s10620-021-06823-8. Epub 2021 Mar 16.


Background: Although intestinal fungi are known to interact with the immune system, the relationship between intestinal fungi and childhood celiac disease (CeD), an immune-mediated condition, has rarely been reported.

Aims: The aim of this study was to describe gut fungal profiles in a cohort of children with new-onset CeD.

Methods: Mucosal and fecal samples were collected from children with CeD and controls and subjected to metagenomics analysis of fungal microbiota communities. DNA libraries were sequenced using Illumina HiSeq platform 2 × 150 bp. Bioinformatic analysis was performed to quantify the relative abundance of fungi. Shannon alpha diversity metrics and beta diversity principal coordinate (PCo) analyses were calculated, and DESeq tests were performed between celiac and non-celiac groups.

Results: Overall more abundant taxa in samples of children with CeD included Tricholomataceae, Saccharomycetaceae, Saccharomycetes Saccharomyces cerevisiae, and Candida, whereas less abundant taxa included Pichiaceae, Pichia kudriavzevii, Pneumocystis, and Pneumocystis jirovecii. Alpha diversity between CeD and control individuals did not differ significantly, and beta diversity PCo analysis showed overlap of samples from CeD and controls for both fecal or mucosal samples; however, there was a clear separation between mucosal and fecal overall samples CONCLUSIONS: We report fungal dysbiosis in children with CeD, suggesting a possible role in the pathogenesis of CeD. Further larger, controlled, prospective and longitudinal studies are needed to verify the results of this study and clarify the functional role of fungi in CeD.

Keywords: Celiac disease; Dysbiosis; Fungi; Microbiota; Saudi children.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Celiac Disease* / diagnosis
  • Celiac Disease* / epidemiology
  • Celiac Disease* / microbiology
  • Celiac Disease* / physiopathology
  • Child
  • Dysbiosis* / diagnosis
  • Dysbiosis* / microbiology
  • Feces / microbiology
  • Female
  • Fungi* / classification
  • Fungi* / immunology
  • Fungi* / isolation & purification
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Mucosa / microbiology
  • Intestinal Mucosa / pathology
  • Male
  • Metagenomics / methods
  • Microbiological Phenomena
  • Mycobiome* / genetics
  • Mycobiome* / immunology
  • Saudi Arabia / epidemiology