Gut microbiota composition and relapse risk in pediatric MS: A pilot study

Helen Tremlett, Douglas W. Fadrosh, Ali A. Faruqi, Janace Hart, Shelly Roalstad, Jennifer Graves, Susan Lynch, Emmanuelle Waubant, Greg Aaen, Anita Belman, Leslie Benson, Charlie Casper, Tanuja Chitnis, Mark Gorman, Yolanda Harris, Lauren Krupp, Tim E. Lotze, Sabina Lulu, Jayne Ness, Cody OlsenErik Roan, Moses Rodriguez, John Rose, Timothy C. Simmons, Jan Mendelt Tillema, Wendy Weber, Bianca Weinstock-Guttman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

96 Scopus citations


We explored the association between baseline gut microbiota (16S rRNA biomarker sequencing of stool samples) in 17 relapsing-remitting pediatric MS cases and risk of relapse over a mean 19.8 months follow-up. From the Kaplan-Meier curve, 25% relapsed within an estimated 166 days from baseline. A shorter time to relapse was associated with Fusobacteria depletion (p = 0.001 log-rank test), expansion of the Firmicutes (p = 0.003), and presence of the Archaea Euryarchaeota (p = 0.037). After covariate adjustments for age and immunomodulatory drug exposure, only absence (vs. presence) of Fusobacteria was associated with relapse risk (hazard ratio = 3.2 (95% CI: 1.2-9.0), p = 0.024). Further investigation is warranted. Findings could offer new targets to alter the MS disease course.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)153-157
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the neurological sciences
StatePublished - Apr 15 2016


  • 16S rRNA
  • Cox regression
  • Gut microbiota
  • Kaplan-Meier
  • Pediatric multiple sclerosis
  • Relapse risk
  • Survival analyses

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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