Gut Microbiome Signatures in the Progression of Hepatitis B Virus-Induced Liver Disease

Front Microbiol. 2022 Jun 6;13:916061. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2022.916061. eCollection 2022.


The gut microbiome is associated with hepatitis B virus (HBV)-induced liver disease, which progresses from chronic hepatitis B, to liver cirrhosis, and eventually to hepatocellular carcinoma. Studies have analyzed the gut microbiome at each stage of HBV-induced liver diseases, but a consensus has not been reached on the microbial signatures across these stages. Here, we conducted by a systematic meta-analysis of 486 fecal samples from publicly available 16S rRNA gene datasets across all disease stages, and validated the results by a gut microbiome characterization on an independent cohort of 15 controls, 23 chronic hepatitis B, 20 liver cirrhosis, and 22 hepatocellular carcinoma patients. The integrative analyses revealed 13 genera consistently altered at each of the disease stages both in public and validation datasets, suggesting highly robust microbiome signatures. Specifically, Colidextribacter and Monoglobus were enriched in healthy controls. An unclassified Lachnospiraceae genus was specifically elevated in chronic hepatitis B, whereas Bilophia was depleted. Prevotella and Oscillibacter were depleted in liver cirrhosis. And Coprococcus and Faecalibacterium were depleted in hepatocellular carcinoma. Classifiers established using these 13 genera showed diagnostic power across all disease stages in a cross-validation between public and validation datasets (AUC = 0.65-0.832). The identified microbial taxonomy serves as non-invasive biomarkers for monitoring the progression of HBV-induced liver disease, and may contribute to microbiome-based therapies.

Keywords: gut microbiome; hepatitis; hepatitis B virus; hepatocellular carcinoma; liver cirrhosis; meta-analysis.