Refereed journal article or data article (A1)

Links between gut microbiome composition and fatty liver disease in a large population sample

List of Authors: Ruuskanen Matti O, Åberg Fredrik, Männistö Ville, Havulinna Aki S, Meric Guillaume, Liu Yang, Loomba Rohit, Vazquez-Baeza Yoshiki, Tripathi Anupriya, Valsta Liisa M, Inouye Michael, Jousilahti Pekka, Salomaa Veikko, Jain Mohit, Knight Rob, Lahti Leo, Niiranen Teemu J


Publication year: 2021

Journal: Gut Microbes

Journal name in source: GUT MICROBES

Journal acronym: GUT MICROBES

Volume number: 13

Issue number: 1

Number of pages: 22

ISSN: 1949-0976

eISSN: 1949-0984



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Fatty liver disease is the most common liver disease in the world. Its connection with the gut microbiome has been known for at least 80 y, but this association remains mostly unstudied in the general population because of underdiagnosis and small sample sizes. To address this knowledge gap, we studied the link between the Fatty Liver Index (FLI), a well-established proxy for fatty liver disease, and gut microbiome composition in a representative, ethnically homogeneous population sample of 6,269 Finnish participants. We based our models on biometric covariates and gut microbiome compositions from shallow metagenome sequencing. Our classification models could discriminate between individuals with a high FLI (>= 60, indicates likely liver steatosis) and low FLI (<60) in internal cross-region validation, consisting of 30% of the data not used in model training, with an average AUC of 0.75 and AUPRC of 0.56 (baseline at 0.30). In addition to age and sex, our models included differences in 11 microbial groups from class Clostridia, mostly belonging to orders Lachnospirales and Oscillospirales. Our models were also predictive of the high FLI group in a different Finnish cohort, consisting of 258 participants, with an average AUC of 0.77 and AUPRC of 0.51 (baseline at 0.21). Pathway analysis of representative genomes of the positively FLI-associated taxa in (NCBI) Clostridium subclusters IV and XIVa indicated the presence of, e.g., ethanol fermentation pathways. These results support several findings from smaller case-control studies, such as the role of endogenous ethanol producers in the development of the fatty liver.

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Last updated on 2022-07-04 at 18:27