Correlation of Gut Microbiome Between ASD Children and Mothers and Potential Biomarkers for Risk Assessment.


Shandong Children's Microbiome Center, Qilu Children's Hospital of Shandong University, Jinan 250022, China; Research Institute of Pediatrics, Qilu Children's Hospital of Shandong University, Jinan 250022, China. Electronic address: [Email]


Variation of maternal gut microbiota may increase the risk of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) in offspring. Animal studies have indicated that maternal gut microbiota is related to neurodevelopmental abnormalities in mouse offspring, while it is unclear whether there is a correlation between gut microbiota of ASD children and their mothers. We examined the relationships between gut microbiome profiles of ASD children and those of their mothers, and evaluated the clinical discriminatory power of discovered bacterial biomarkers. Gut microbiome was profiled and evaluated by 16S ribosomal RNA gene sequencing in stool samples of 59 mother-child pairs of ASD children and 30 matched mother-child pairs of healthy children. Significant differences were observed in the gut microbiome composition between ASD and healthy children in our Chinese cohort. Several unique bacterial biomarkers, such as Alcaligenaceae and Acinetobacter, were identified. Mothers of ASD children had more Proteobacteria, Alphaproteobacteria, Moraxellaceae, and Acinetobacter than mothers of healthy children. There was a clear correlation between gut microbiome profiles of children and their mothers; however, children with ASD still had unique bacterial biomarkers, such as Alcaligenaceae, Enterobacteriaceae, and Clostridium. Candidate biomarkers discovered in this study had remarkable discriminatory power. The identified patterns of mother-child gut microbiome profiles may be important for assessing risks during the early stage and planning of personalized treatment and prevention of ASD via microbiota modulation.


Autism spectrum disorders,Biomarker,Gut microbiome,Microbiota-gut-immune-brain axis,Mother–child pair,