Shijia Hu, John Mok, Michelle Gowans, David E H Ong, Juanda Leo Hartono, Jonathan Wei Jie Lee
Published in May 2022, Journal of Crohn's & colitis.
Background and Aims Microbiome dysbiosis is associated with inflammatory destruction in Crohn’s disease [CD]. Although gut microbiome dysbiosis is well established in CD, the oral microbiome is comparatively under-studied. This study aims to characterize the oral microbiome of CD patients with/without oral manifestations.
Methods Patients with CD were recruited with age-, gender- and race-matched controls. Potential confounders such as dental caries and periodontal condition were recorded. The oral microbiome was collected using saliva samples. Microbial DNA was extracted and sequenced using shotgun sequencing. Metagenomic taxonomic and functional profiles were generated and analysed.
Results The study recruited 41 patients with CD and 24 healthy controls. Within the CD subjects, 39.0% had oral manifestations with the majority presenting with cobblestoning and/or oral ulcers. Principal coordinate analysis demonstrated distinct oral microbiome profiles between subjects with and without CD, with four key variables responsible for overall oral microbiome variance:  diagnosis of CD,  concomitant use of steroids,  concomitant use of azathioprine and 4] presence of oral ulcers. Thirty-two significant differentially abundant microbial species were identified, with the majority associated with the diagnosis of CD. A predictive model based on differences in the oral microbiome found that the oral microbiome has strong discriminatory function to distinguish subjects with and without CD [AUROC 0.84]. Functional analysis found that an increased representation of microbial enzymes [n = 5] in the butyrate pathway was positively associated with the presence of oral ulcers.
Conclusions The oral microbiome can aid in the diagnosis of CD and its composition was associated with oral manifestations.