A connection may exist between gut microbiota and patients with psoriasis, according to study findings published in the British Journal of Dermatology.

Gut microbiota plays a role in the stability of the immune system, and therefore by extension in autoimmune inflammatory diseases distinguished by a change in cellular stability, the study authors noted. As psoriasis is an autoimmune inflammatory disorder, researchers sought to examine the composition and functional potential of gut microbiota in patients with psoriasis including the role of seasonal instability.

To accomplish this, they conducted a case-control study that included 126 fecal samples from 53 patients (median 48.0 years of age [IQR, 36.0-58.0]; 54.7% men; BMI 25.2 kg/m2 [IQR, 22.9-27.4]) with plaque psoriasis who were systemically untreated, and samples from 52 healthy control participants who were age, sex, and BMI matched, and samples from 21 cohabitant partners. Among all these patients, 18 with psoriasis and 19 healthy control participants continued a longitudinal study, donating 4 to 6 fecal samples over 9 to 12 months. Shotgun metagenomic sequencing analysis was used to distinguish gut microbiota.


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Researchers said, “A significantly lower richness (P =.007) and difference in community composition (P =.01) of metagenomic species (MGS) was seen in patients with psoriasis compared with healthy controls, and patients with psoriasis had a lower microbial diversity than their partners (P =.04).” Patients with psoriasis showed a decrease in functional richness compared with partners (P =.05) and control participants (P =.01). Patients with psoriasis showed a correlation between the severity of their disease and changes in taxonomy and function. No shifts in community composition were seen in the longitudinal seasonal analysis in patients with psoriasis or control participants.

Study limitations included thesmall sample size, possible unintended bacterial DNA detection of dead material having fecal samples represent the gut microbial profile, and possible differences in dietary habits affecting microbiota.

 “The findings of a different gut microbiota in composition and functional potentials between patients with psoriasis and healthy controls support a linkage between the gut microbiota and psoriasis,” the researchers concluded.

Disclosure: Several study authors declared affiliations with biotech, pharmaceutical, and/or device companies. Please see the original reference for a full list of authors’ disclosures.

Reference

Todberg T, Egeberg A, Zachariae C, Sørensen N, Pedersen O, Skov L. Patients with psoriasis have a dysbiotic taxonomic and functional gut microbiota. Br J Dermatol. Published online March 15, 2022. doi:10.1111/bjd.21245