The relationship between fecal bile acids and microbiome community structure in pediatric Crohn’s disease

Jessica Connors, Katherine A. Dunn, Jennifer Allott, Robert Bandsma, Mohsin Rashid, Anthony R. Otley, Joseph P. Bielawski, Johan van Limbergen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle*Academicpeer-review


Gut microbiome community structure is associated with Crohn’s disease (CD) development and response to therapy. Bile acids (BAs) play a central role in modulating intestinal immune responses, and changes in gut bacterial communities can profoundly alter the intestinal BA pool. The liver synthesizes and conjugates primary bile acids (priBAs) that are then deconjugated, epimerized, and dehydroxylated by gut bacteria to produce secondary bile acids (secBAs). We investigated the relationship between the gut microbiome and the fecal BA pool in stool samples obtained from a well-characterized cohort of pediatric CD patients undergoing nutritional therapy to induce disease remission. We found that fecal BA composition was altered in a sub-group of CD patients who did not sustain remission. The microbial community structures associated with priBA and secBA-dominant profiles were distinct. In addition, the fecal BA concentrations were correlated with the abundance of distinct bacterial taxonomic groups. Finally, priBA dominant samples were associated with community-level decreases in enzymes for dehydroxylation but not deconjugation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)702-713
Number of pages12
JournalISME journal
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2020

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