Arq Gastroenterol. Apr-Jun 2021;58(2):168-174. doi: 10.1590/S0004-2803.202100000-29.


Background: The intestinal microbiota influences the appropriate function of the gastrointestinal tract. Intestinal dysbiosis may be associated with a higher risk of esophageal lesions, mainly due to changes in gastroesophageal motility patterns, elevation of intra-abdominal pressure, and increased frequency of transient relaxation of the lower esophageal sphincter.

Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate the intestinal microbiota in individuals with erosive esophagitis and in healthy individuals using metagenomics.

Methods: A total of 22 fecal samples from adults aged between 18 and 60 years were included. Eleven individuals had esophagitis (eight men and three women) and 11 were healthy controls (10 men and one woman). The individuals were instructed to collect and store fecal material into a tube containing guanidine solution. The DNA of the microbiota was extracted from each fecal samples and PCR amplification was performed using primers for the V4 region of the 16S rRNA gene. The amplicons were sequenced using the Ion Torrent PGM platform and the data were analyzed using the QIIME™ software version 1.8. Statistical analyses were performed using the Mann-Whitney non-parametric test and the ANOSIM non-parametric method based on distance matrix.

Results: The alpha-diversity and beta-diversity indices were similar between the two groups, without statistically significant differences. There was no statistically significant difference in the phylum level. However, a statistically significant difference was observed in the abundance of the family Clostridiaceae (0.3% vs 2.0%, P=0.032) and in the genus Faecaliumbacterium (10.5% vs 4.5%, P=0.045) between healthy controls and esophagitis patients.

Conclusion: The findings suggest that reduced abundance of the genus Faecaliumbacterium and greater abundance of the family Clostridiaceae may be risk factors for the development of erosive esophagitis. Intervention in the composition of the intestinal microbiota should be considered as an adjunct to current therapeutic strategies for this clinical condition.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Dysbiosis
  • Esophagitis*
  • Feces
  • Female
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S / genetics
  • Young Adult


  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S