Gut microbiome in down syndrome

Elena Biagi, Marco Cela, Manuela Centanni, Clarissa Consoli, Simone Rampelli, Silvia Turroni, Marco Severgnini, Clelia Peano, Alessro Ghezzo, Maria Scurti, Stefano Salvioli, Claudio Franceschi, Patrizia Brigidi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Premature aging seriously compromises the health status of Down Syndrome (DS) persons. Since human aging has been associated with a deterioration of the gut microbiota (GM)-host mutualism, here we investigated the composition of GM in DS. Methods: The observational study presented involved 17 adult DS persons. We characterized the GM structure by 454 pyrosequencing of the V4 region of the 16S rRNA gene. DS microbiome was compared with that of age-matched healthy non-trisomic adults enrolled in the same geographic area.

Results and Conclusions: The dominant GM fraction of DS persons showed an overall mutualistic immune-modulatory layout, comparable to that of healthy controls. This makes GM a possible factor counteracting the genetic determined acceleration of immune senescence in DS persons. However, we also found detectable signatures specific for DS among subdominant GM components, such as the increase of Parasporobacterium and Sutterella. In particular, the abundance of this last microorganism significantly correlated with the Aberrant Behavior Checklist (ABC) total score, allowing us to hypothesize a possible role for this microbial genus in behavioral features in DS.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere112023
JournalPLoS One
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 11 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)


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