Curr Issues Mol Biol. 2022 Jun 29;44(7):2903-2914. doi: 10.3390/cimb44070200.
There are multiple lines of evidence for the existence of communication between the central nervous system (CNS), gut, and intestinal microbiome. Despite extensive analysis conducted on various neurological disorders, the gut microbiome was not yet analyzed in neuroinfections. In the current study, we analyzed the gut microbiome in 47 consecutive patients hospitalized with neuroinfection (26 patients had viral encephalitis/meningitis; 8 patients had bacterial meningitis) and in 20 matched for age and gender health controls. Using the QIIME pipeline, 16S rRNA sequencing and classification into operational taxonomic units (OTUs) were performed on the earliest stool sample available. Bacterial taxa such as Clostridium, Anaerostipes, Lachnobacterium, Lachnospira, and Roseburia were decreased in patients with neuroinfection when compared to controls. Alpha diversity metrics showed lower within-sample diversity in patients with neuroinfections, though there were no differences in beta diversity. Furthermore, there was no significant change by short-term (1-3 days) antibiotic treatment on the gut microbiota, although alpha diversity metrics, such as Chao1 and Shannon’s index, were close to being statistically significant. The cause of differences between patients with neuroinfections and controls is unclear and could be due to inflammation accompanying the disease; however, the effect of diet modification and/or hospitalization cannot be excluded.