Gao B(1)(2), Zhang X(3), Schnabl B(2)(4). Author information:
(1)School of Marine Sciences, Nanjing University of Information Science and
Technology, Nanjing 210044, China.
(2)Department of Medicine, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA
(3)Division of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics, Department of Family Medicine
and Public Health, University of California San Diego, San Diego, CA 92093, USA.
(4)Department of Medicine, VA San Diego Healthcare System, San Diego, CA 92161,
Alcohol-related liver disease is one of the most prevalent types of chronic liver diseases globally. Alcohol-related liver disease begins with fatty liver, which further develops into hepatic inflammation, hepatocyte injury, and progresses to fibrosis and cirrhosis. Compositional changes of gut bacteria and fungi were found in patients with alcohol-related liver disease. However, the functional changes of fungi and correlations between fungi and bacteria have not been investigated. In this study, we first examined the functional capacity of fungi in patients with alcohol-related liver disease using shotgun metagenomics. Among 24 MetaCyc pathways contributed by fungi, superpathway of allantoin degradation in yeast was enriched in patients with alcoholic hepatitis. Furthermore, we compared the predictive power of bacteria versus fungi and found that bacteria performed better than fungi to separate patients with alcoholic hepatitis from non-alcoholic controls and patients with alcohol use disorder. Finally, we investigated the associations between the intestinal fungi and bacteria in alcoholic hepatitis patients. Positive association between fungi and bacteria was found between Cladosporium and Gemmiger, meanwhile negative association was found between Cryptococcus and Pseudomonas in alcoholic hepatitis patients.
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