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The impact of short-chain fatty acid–producing bacteria of the gut microbiota in hyperuricemia and gout diagnosis

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Persistent hyperuricemia is a key factor in gout; however, only 13.5% of hyperuricemic individuals manifest the disease. The gut microbiota could be one of the many factors underlying this phenomenon. We aimed to assess the difference in taxonomic and predicted functional profiles of the gut microbiota between asymptomatic hyperuricemia (AH) individuals and gout patients.


The V3–V4 region of the 16S rRNA gene of the gut microbiota of AH individuals, gout patients, and controls was sequenced. Bioinformatic analyses were carried out with QIIME2 and phyloseq to determine the difference in the relative abundance of bacterial genera among the study groups. Tax4fun2 was used to predict the functional profile of the gut microbiota.


AH individuals presented a higher abundance of butyrate- and propionate-producing bacteria than gout patients; however, the latter had more bacteria capable of producing acetate. The abundance of Prevotella genus bacteria was not significantly different between the patients but was higher than that in controls. This result was corroborated by the functional profile, in which AH individuals had less pyruvate oxidase abundance than gout patients and less abundance of an enzyme that regulates glutamate synthetase activation than controls.


We observed a distinctive taxonomic profile in AH individuals characterized by a higher abundance of short-chain fatty acid-producing bacteria in comparison to those observed in gout patients. Furthermore, we provide scientific evidence that indicates that the gut microbiota of AH individuals could provide anti-inflammatory mediators, which prevent the appearance of gout flares.

Key Points

AH and gout patients both have a higher abundance of Prevotella genus bacteria than controls.

AH individuals’ gut microbiota had more butyrate- and propionate-producing bacteria than gout patients.

The gut microbiome of AH individuals provides anti-inflammatory mediators that could prevent gout flares.

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Data availability

The data supporting the findings of this study are available on request from the corresponding author. The data are not publicly available due to privacy or ethical restrictions.


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We are very grateful to the participants for their time and involvement in this study. We would like to thank all staff members of the blood bank of INRLGII, especially Miguel Antonio Cervera Bustamante, Cecilia de los Angeles Nieto Gómez, Mónica Adelaida Saldaña García, María del Carmen Ramírez Flores, Graciela Morales Sánchez, Cristina Gutiérrez Mendoza, Dulce Verónica Santana Velazco, and Magdalena Gutiérrez Moreno. We also want to thank Aarón Vazquez-Mellado Montes de Oca for his logistic support in gout patient enrolment.


This study was supported by the Instituto Nacional de Rehabilitación “Luis Guillermo Ibarra Ibarra” and by the Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONACYT) grant FORDECYT-PRONACES/87754/2020 and grant INF-2016–01-269675.

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Correspondence to Alberto López-Reyes.

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The present study complies with the Declaration of Helsinki, all participants signed an informed consent letter prior to their enrolment, and the protocol was approved by INRLGII and the HGM ethics committee (INR28/15; DI/18/404-A/03/004; respectively).



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Martínez-Nava, G.A., Méndez-Salazar, E.O., Vázquez-Mellado, J. et al. The impact of short-chain fatty acid–producing bacteria of the gut microbiota in hyperuricemia and gout diagnosis. Clin Rheumatol 42, 203–214 (2023).

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