Airway Microbiome and Serum Metabolomics Analysis Identify Differential Candidate Biomarkers in Allergic Rhinitis

Front Immunol. 2022 Jan 5:12:771136. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2021.771136. eCollection 2021.


Allergic rhinitis (AR) is a common heterogeneous chronic disease with a high prevalence and a complex pathogenesis influenced by numerous factors, involving a combination of genetic and environmental factors. To gain insight into the pathogenesis of AR and to identity diagnostic biomarkers, we combined systems biology approach to analyze microbiome and serum composition. We collected inferior turbinate swabs and serum samples to study the microbiome and serum metabolome of 28 patients with allergic rhinitis and 15 healthy individuals. We sequenced the V3 and V4 regions of the 16S rDNA gene from the upper respiratory samples. Metabolomics was used to examine serum samples. Finally, we combined differential microbiota and differential metabolites to find potential biomarkers. We found no significant differences in diversity between the disease and control groups, but changes in the structure of the microbiota. Compared to the HC group, the AR group showed a significantly higher abundance of 1 phylum (Actinobacteria) and 7 genera (Klebsiella, Prevotella and Staphylococcus, etc.) and a significantly lower abundance of 1 genus (Pelomonas). Serum metabolomics revealed 26 different metabolites (Prostaglandin D2, 20-Hydroxy-leukotriene B4 and Linoleic acid, etc.) and 16 disrupted metabolic pathways (Linoleic acid metabolism, Arachidonic acid metabolism and Tryptophan metabolism, etc.). The combined respiratory microbiome and serum metabolomics datasets showed a degree of correlation reflecting the influence of the microbiome on metabolic activity. Our results show that microbiome and metabolomics analyses provide important candidate biomarkers, and in particular, differential genera in the microbiome have also been validated by random forest prediction models. Differential microbes and differential metabolites have the potential to be used as biomarkers for the diagnosis of allergic rhinitis.

Keywords: allergic rhinitis; biomarkers; metabolomics; microbiome; multiomics.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Metabolome / immunology*
  • Metabolomics
  • Microbiota / immunology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Respiratory System* / immunology
  • Respiratory System* / microbiology
  • Rhinitis, Allergic* / blood
  • Rhinitis, Allergic* / immunology
  • Rhinitis, Allergic* / microbiology


  • Biomarkers