Gut microbes involved in pathogenesis of autism: study

BEIJING, Nov. 17 (Xinhua) — A recent Chinese study has shown that autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is associated with dysbiosis in the gut microbiome, offering reference for future therapeutic plans.

ASD is a neurodevelopmental disorder that may be influenced by both environmental and genetic factors. Previous studies have found that gut microbe imbalance is commonly seen in children with autism.

Researchers from Peking University and the Beijing Institute of Genomics under the Chinese Academy of Sciences proposed a novel strategy for metagenomic analysis, in which they paired ASD samples with control samples of similar metabolic backgrounds.

They conducted metagenomic sequencing of 79 samples from ASD individuals and healthy controls and identified the metabolic pathways of autism-related gut microbes.

The study identified the ASD group’s deficiencies in detoxifying enzymes and pathways. Diagnostic models based on these detoxifying enzymes can distinguish ASD individuals from controls with high accuracy.

This study has identified important mechanisms of how microbes are involved in the pathogenesis of autism, providing new strategies for medical intervention in autism.

The study was published in the journal Science Advances.

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