Gut microbiota of adults with asthma is broadly similar to non-asthmatics in a large population with varied ethnic origins

Robert F. J. Kullberg*, Bastiaan W. Haak, Mahmoud I. Abdel-Aziz, Mark Davids, Floor Hugenholtz, Max Nieuwdorp, Henrike Galenkamp, Maria Prins, Anke H. Maitland-van der Zee, W. Joost Wiersinga

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Bacterial gut communities might predispose children to develop asthma. Yet, little is known about the role of these micro-organisms in adult asthmatics. We aimed to profile the relationship between fecal microbiota and asthma in a large-scale, ethnically diverse, observational cohort of adults. Fecal microbiota composition of 1632 adults (172 asthmatics and 1460 non-asthmatics) was analyzed using 16S ribosomal RNA gene sequencing. Using extremely randomized trees machine learning models, we assessed the discriminatory ability of gut bacterial features to identify asthmatics from non-asthmatics. Asthma contributed 0.019% to interindividual dissimilarities in intestinal microbiota composition, which was not significant (P = .97). Asthmatics could not be distinguished from non-asthmatics based on individual microbiota composition by an extremely randomized trees classifier model (area under the receiver operating characteristic curve = 0.54). In conclusion, there were no prominent differences in fecal microbiota composition in adult asthmatics when compared to non-asthmatics in an urban, large-sized and ethnically diverse cohort.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1995279
JournalGut Microbes
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021

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