Blood Bacterial 16S rRNA Gene Alterations in Women With Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

Front Endocrinol (Lausanne). 2022 Feb 24:13:814520. doi: 10.3389/fendo.2022.814520. eCollection 2022.


Background: Evidence proved the association between gut microbiome dysbiosis and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) in metabolic disorder, decreased fertility, and hyperandrogenism. However, alterations in blood microbiome of PCOS remained unknown.

Objective: This study aims to measure the blood microbiome profile of PCOS patients compared with healthy controls by 16S rRNA sequencing and to investigate its association with PCOS.

Methods: In this case-control study, bacterial DNA in blood of 24 PCOS patients and 24 healthy controls was investigated by 16S rRNA gene sequencing using the MiSeq technology. Alpha and beta diversity were used to analyze within-sample biodiversity and similarity of one group to another, respectively. Linear discriminant analysis effect size (LEfSe) was calculated to determine biomarkers between groups. Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) functional prediction was performed at genera level.

Result: Alpha diversity of blood microbiome decreased significantly in women with PCOS, and beta diversity analysis demonstrated a major separation between the two groups. In the PCOS group, the relative abundance of Proteobacteria, Firmicutes, and Bacteroidetes decreased significantly, while Actinobacteria increased significantly. Cladogram demonstrated the microbiome differences between the two groups at various phylogenic levels. Meanwhile, linear discriminant analysis (LDA) presented significant decreases in Burkholderiaceae, Lachnospiraceae, Bacteroidaceae, Ruminococcaceae, and S24-7 and significant increases in Nocardioidaceae and Oxalobacteraceae of the PCOS group. KEGG pathway analysis at genera level suggested that 14 pathways had significant differences between the two groups.

Conclusion: Our findings demonstrated that blood microbiome had a significantly lower alpha diversity, different beta diversity, and significant taxonomic variations in PCOS patients compared with healthy controls.

Keywords: 16s rRNA; PCOS; blood; microbiome; sequencing.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome*
  • Genes, rRNA
  • Humans
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome* / complications
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S / analysis
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S / genetics


  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S