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    Alterations in Gut Microbiome in Cirrhosis as Assessed by Quantitative Metagenomics: Relationship With Acute-on-Chronic Liver Failure and Prognosis. Solé Cristina,Guilly Susie,Da Silva Kevin,Llopis Marta,Le-Chatelier Emmanuelle,Huelin Patricia,Carol Marta,Moreira Rebeca,Fabrellas Núria,De Prada Gloria,Napoleone Laura,Graupera Isabel,Pose Elisa,Juanola Adrià,Borruel Natalia,Berland Magali,Toapanta David,Casellas Francesc,Guarner Francisco,Doré Jöel,Solà Elsa,Ehrlich Stanislav Dusko,Ginès Pere Gastroenterology BACKGROUND AND AIMS:Cirrhosis is associated with changes in gut microbiome composition. Although acute-on-chronic liver failure (ACLF) is the most severe clinical stage of cirrhosis, there is lack of information about gut microbiome alterations in ACLF using quantitative metagenomics. We investigated the gut microbiome in patients with cirrhosis encompassing the whole spectrum of disease (compensated, acutely decompensated without ACLF, and ACLF). A group of healthy subjects was used as control subjects. METHODS:Stool samples were collected prospectively in 182 patients with cirrhosis. DNA library construction and sequencing were performed using the Ion Proton Sequencer (ThermoFisher Scientific, Waltham, MA). Microbial genes were grouped into clusters, denoted as metagenomic species. RESULTS:Cirrhosis was associated with a remarkable reduction in gene and metagenomic species richness compared with healthy subjects. This loss of richness correlated with disease stages and was particularly marked in patients with ACLF and persisted after adjustment for antibiotic therapy. ACLF was associated with a significant increase of Enterococcus and Peptostreptococcus sp and a reduction of some autochthonous bacteria. Gut microbiome alterations correlated with model for end-stage liver disease and Child-Pugh scores and organ failure and was associated with some complications, particularly hepatic encephalopathy and infections. Interestingly, gut microbiome predicted 3-month survival with good stable predictors. Functional analysis showed that patients with cirrhosis had enriched pathways related to ethanol production, γ-aminobutyric acid metabolism, and endotoxin biosynthesis, among others. CONCLUSIONS:Cirrhosis is characterized by marked alterations in gut microbiome that parallel disease stages with maximal changes in ACLF. Altered gut microbiome was associated with complications of cirrhosis and survival. Gut microbiome may contribute to disease progression and poor prognosis. These results should be confirmed in future studies. 10.1053/j.gastro.2020.08.054
    Sex is associated with differences in gut microbial composition and function in hepatic encephalopathy. Saboo Krishnakant,Shamsaddini Amirhossein,Iyer Mihir V,Hu Chang,Fagan Andrew,Gavis Edith A,White Melanie B,Fuchs Michael,Heuman Douglas M,Sikaroodi Masoumeh,Iyer Ravishankar K,Gillevet Patrick M,Bajaj Jasmohan S Journal of hepatology BACKGROUND & AIMS:Altered microbiota can affect the gut-liver-brain axis in cirrhosis and hepatic encephalopathy (HE), but the impact of sex on these changes is unclear. We aimed to determine differences in fecal microbiota composition/functionality between men and women with cirrhosis and HE on differing treatments. METHODS:Cross-sectional stool microbiome composition (16s rRNA sequencing) and microbial functional analyses were performed in men and women with cirrhosis, and controls. Patients with HE on rifaximin+lactulose (HE-Rif), patients with HE on lactulose only (HE-Lac) and those with cirrhosis without HE (No-HE) were compared to controls using random forest classifier. Men and women were also compared. RESULTS:A total of 761 individuals were included, 619 with cirrhosis (466 men, 153 women) and 142 controls (92 men, 50 women). Men were older and more frequently used proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), but model for end-stage liver disease score, No-HE (n = 319), HE-lac (n = 130) and HE-Rif (n = 170) proportions were similar. PPI/age-adjusted AUC of differentiation between controls vs. all cirrhosis, and controls vs. No-HE were higher within women than men, but the adjusted AUC for No-HE vs. HE-Rif was higher in men. Control vs. HE-Rif differentiation was similar across sexes. Men vs. women were different in all cirrhosis, No-HE and HE-Lac but not HE-Rif on PERMANOVA and AUC analyses. Autochthonous taxa decreased and pathobionts increased with disease progression regardless of sex. In men, Lactobacillaceae were higher in HE-Lac but decreased in HE-Rif, along with Veillonellaceae. Pathways related to glutamate and aromatic compound degradation were higher in men at all stages. Degradation of androstenedione, an estrogenic precursor, was lower in men vs. women in HE-Rif, likely enhancing feminization. CONCLUSIONS:There are differences in gut microbial function and composition between men and women with cirrhosis, which could be implicated in differential responses to HE therapies. Further studies linking these differences to sex-specific outcomes are needed. LAY SUMMARY:Patients with cirrhosis develop changes in their brain function, and men often develop feminization with disease progression. However, the interaction between sex, microbiota and disease severity is unclear. We found that as disease progressed in men, their microbial composition began to approach that observed in women, with changes in specific microbes that are associated with male hormone metabolism. 10.1016/j.jhep.2020.06.046