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Characterization of Microbiota in Children with Chronic Functional Constipation.

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Dr Swati Bhave    09 March 2018

Disruption of the intestinal microbiota is considered an etiological factor in pediatric functional constipation.

A study published in PLoS One aimed to describe microbial composition and diversity in children with functional constipation, in comparison with healthy controls.

This study analyzed 76 children, in the age range of 4.2-17.8 years, diagnosed with functional constipation according to the Rome III criteria, and their outcomes were compared to intestinal microbiota profiles of 61 healthy children belonging to an equivalent age-group.

The results showed no disease-specific separation by principal coordinate analysis (PCoA) and by calculation of diversity indices. Meanwhile, by ridge regression, functional constipation and controls could be discriminated with 82% accuracy. On the other hand, most discriminative species were found to be Bacteroides fragilis, Bacteroides ovatus, Bifidobacterium longum, Parabacteroides species, which increased in functional constipation; and Alistipes finegoldii which decreased in functional constipation.

From the findings, it was stated that none of the commonly used unsupervised statistical methods allowed for microbiota-based discrimination between children with functional constipation and controls. Whereas by ridge regression, both groups could be discriminated with 82% accuracy. It was infered that the optimization of microbiota-based interventions in constipated children necessitates further characterization of microbial signatures linked to clinical subgroups of functional constipation.

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