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Comparing the Gut Microbiome in Autism and Preclinical Models: A Systematic Review

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posted on 2022-10-18, 00:17 authored by MU Alamoudi, S Hosie, Anya ShindlerAnya Shindler, Jennifer WoodJennifer Wood, Ashley FranksAshley Franks, EL Hill-Yardin
Many individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) experience gastrointestinal (GI) dysfunction and show microbial dysbiosis. Variation in gut microbial populations is associated with increased risk for GI symptoms such as chronic constipation and diarrhoea, which decrease quality of life. Several preclinical models of autism also demonstrate microbial dysbiosis. Given that much pre-clinical research is conducted in mouse models, it is important to understand the similarities and differences between the gut microbiome in humans and these models in the context of autism. We conducted a systematic review of the literature using PubMed, ProQuest and Scopus databases to compare microbiome profiles of patients with autism and transgenic (NL3R451C, Shank3 KO, 15q dup), phenotype-first (BTBR) and environmental (Poly I:C, Maternal Inflammation Activation (MIA), valproate) mouse models of autism. Overall, we report changes in fecal microbial communities relevant to ASD based on both clinical and preclinical studies. Here, we identify an overlapping cluster of genera that are modified in both fecal samples from individuals with ASD and mouse models of autism. Specifically, we describe an increased abundance of Bilophila, Clostridium, Dorea and Lactobacillus and a decrease in Blautia genera in both humans and rodents relevant to this disorder. Studies in both humans and mice highlighted multidirectional changes in abundance (i.e. in some cases increased abundance whereas other reports showed decreases) for several genera including Akkermansia, Bacteroides, Bifidobacterium, Parabacteroides and Prevotella, suggesting that these genera may be susceptible to modification in autism. Identification of these microbial profiles may assist in characterising underlying biological mechanisms involving host-microbe interactions and provide future therapeutic targets for improving gut health in autism.


This research was funded by an Australian Research Council Future Fellowship to EH-Y (FT160100126) and a National Health and Medical Research Council Ideas grant to EH-Y and AF (APP2003848).


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Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology



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Frontiers Media SA



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© 2022 Alamoudi, Hosie, Shindler, Wood, Franks and Hill-Yardin. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

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