(HealthDay News) – Pediatric patients with Crohn’s disease have altered levels of particular fecal bacterial species, some of which correlate with disease severity.

Nadeem O. Kaakoush, PhD, from the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, and colleagues used high-throughput sequencing to compare the microbial flora in fecal samples from 19 children recently diagnosed with Crohn’s disease and 21 age-matched controls.

The researchers found that the proportion of Firmicutes bacteria was significantly lower in patients with Crohn’s disease, largely due to changes in the Clostridia class. Compared with controls, in patients with Crohn’s disease, the percentages of Bacteroidetes and Proteobacteria were significantly higher. The detection frequency of Bacteroidetes correlated positively and that of Firmicutes correlated negatively with the calculated pediatric Crohn’s disease activity index scores.

“Our findings indicate that a combination of different bacterial species or a dynamic interplay between individual species is important for disease and is consistent with the dysbiosis hypothesis of Crohn’s disease,” Kaakoush and colleagues conclude.

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