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P587 Fermentation capacity of gut microbiota in patients with inflammatory bowel disease compared to healthy controls

McGowan M.1, Kokkorou M.2, Rebull M.1, Koh Y.3, Gaya D.R.4, Hansen R.5, Russell R.K.5, Gerasimidis K.*1

1University of Glasgow, Human Nutrition, Glasgow, United Kingdom 2University Of Glasgow, Human Nutrition, Glasgow, United Kingdom 3University of Glasgow, Glasgow, United Kingdom 4Glasgow Royal Infirmary, Gastroenterology Unit, Glasgow, United Kingdom 5The Royal Hospital for Children Glasgow, Paediatric Gastroenterology, Glasgow, United Kingdom


Gut microbiota in the colon ferment undigested dietary fibre to produce short-chain fatty acids (SCFA). SCFA have beneficial effects on colonic health. Differences in microbiota composition and metabolic activity have been described between IBD patients and healthy controls.


Fresh faecal samples were collected from IBD patients in clinical remission and healthy controls (HC). In vitro batch culture fermentations were carried out for 5 carbohydrate/fibres and for a mixture of these 5 fibres together (hi maize, pectin, raftilose, wheat bran, cellulose). Aliquots were taken at 0 and after 48 hours of fermentation. Faecal SCFA (butyrate, propionate and acetate) concentration (umol/g) and their proportional ratio (%) were measured with Gas Chromatography.


39 IBD participants and 19 matched HC were recruited. Following 48h batch cultures, total SCFA from hi maize and raftilose in CD patients and from hi maize in UC patients were significantly lower than in heathy controls (p=0.041, p=0.003 and p=0.003 respectively) and for other fibre substrates tested: [Propionate, umol/g, CD vs HC; wheat bran: 9.99 vs 7.77, p=0.042; raftilose: 14.4 vs 11.23, p=0.005];[% Propionate, CD vs HC; raftilose: 9.84 vs 20.4, p=0.016]. UC patients also produced lower amounts of butyrate from mixed fibres and of acetate from hi maize fermentation compared to HC (p=0.042 and p=0.045 respectively). No significant differences were observed for acetate and butyrate concentration or the production profile (% proportional ratio) or SCFA.


These data suggest that the microbiota of IBD patients has a lower capacity to break down fibre, compared to healthy people. The findings of these work should be complemented with chnages in microbiota composition using next generation sequencing.