Fecal microbiome analysis as a diagnostic test for diverticulitis

L. Daniels, A.E. Budding*, N. de Korte, A. Eck, J.A. Bogaards, H.B. Stockmann, E.C. Consten, P.H. Savelkoul, M.A. Boermeester

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Disease-specific variations in intestinal microbiome composition have been found for a number of intestinal disorders, but little is known about diverticulitis. The purpose of this study was to compare the fecal microbiota of diverticulitis patients with control subjects from a general gastroenterological practice and to investigate the feasibility of predictive diagnostics based on complex microbiota data. Thirty-one patients with computed tomography (CT)-proven left-sided uncomplicated acute diverticulitis were included and compared with 25 control subjects evaluated for a range of gastrointestinal indications. A high-throughput polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based profiling technique (IS-pro) was performed on DNA isolates from baseline fecal samples. Differences in bacterial phylum abundance and diversity (Shannon index) of the resulting profiles were assessed by conventional statistics. Dissimilarity in microbiome composition was analyzed with principal coordinate analysis (PCoA) based on cosine distance measures. To develop a prediction model for the diagnosis of diverticulitis, we used cross-validated partial least squares discriminant analysis (PLS-DA). Firmicutes/Bacteroidetes ratios and Proteobacteria load were comparable among patients and controls (p = 0.20). The Shannon index indicated a higher diversity in diverticulitis for Proteobacteria (p < 0.00002) and all phyla combined (p = 0.002). PCoA based on Proteobacteria profiles resulted in visually separate clusters of patients and controls. The diagnostic accuracy of the cross-validated PLS-DA regression model was 84 %. The most discriminative species derived largely from the family Enterobacteriaceae. Diverticulitis patients have a higher diversity of fecal microbiota than controls from a mixed population, with the phylum Proteobacteria defining the difference. The analysis of intestinal microbiota offers a novel way to diagnose diverticulitis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1927-1936
JournalEuropean Journal of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014


Dive into the research topics of 'Fecal microbiome analysis as a diagnostic test for diverticulitis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this