, Volume 61, Issue 3, pp 693-703
Date: 01 Feb 2011

Intestinal Microbiota Was Assessed in Cirrhotic Patients with Hepatitis B Virus Infection

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To unravel the profile of intestinal microecological parameters in Chinese patients with asymptomatic carriage of hepatitis B virus (HBV), chronic hepatitis B, decompensated HBV cirrhosis, and health controls and to establish their correlation with liver disease progression, we performed quantitative PCR and immunological techniques to investigate fecal parameters, including population of fecal predominant bacteria and the abundance of some virulence genes derived from Escherichia coli, Bacteroides fragilis, Clostridium difficile, and Clostridium perfringens in fecal crude DNA and some immunological parameters in extracts of all fecal samples. Data analysis indicated that 16S rRNA gene copy numbers for Faecalibacterium prausnitzii, Enterococcus faecalis, Enterobacteriaceae, bifidobacteria, and lactic acid bacteria (Lactobacillus, Pediococcus, Leuconostoc, and Weissella) showed marked variation in the intestine of HBV cirrhotic patients. The Bifidobacteria/Enterobacteriaceae (B/E) ratio, which may indicate microbial colonization resistance of the bowel, was decreased significantly in turn from 1.15 ± 0.11 in healthy controls, 0.99 ± 0.09 in asymptomatic carriers, and 0.76 ± 0.08 in patients with chronic hepatitis B to 0.64 ± 0.09 in patients with decompensated HBV cirrhosis (for all, P < 0.01). This suggests that B/E ratio is useful for following the level of intestinal microecological disorder in the course of liver disease progression. The data for virulence gene abundance suggested increased diversity of virulence factors during liver disease progression. Fecal secretory IgA and tumor necrosis factor-α in decompensated HBV cirrhotic patients were present at higher levels than in other groups, which indicates that a complicated autoregulatory system tries to achieve a new intestinal microecological balance.