The Salivary Microbiome Is Altered in Children With Eosinophilic Esophagitis and Correlates With Disease Activity
Shilts, Meghan H.
Boone, Helen H.
Rajagopala, Seesandra, V.
Das, Suman R.
OBJECTIVES: Eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) is an allergen-mediated inflammatory disease affecting the esophagus. Although microbial communities may affect the host immune responses, little is known about the role of the microbiome in EoE. We compared the composition of the salivary microbiome in children with EoE with that of non-EoE controls to test the hypotheses that the salivary microbiome is altered in children with EoE and is associated with disease activity. METHODS: Saliva samples were collected from 26 children with EoE and 19 non-EoE controls comparable for age and ethnicity. The salivary microbiome was profiled using 16S rRNA gene sequencing. Disease activity was assessed using the Eosinophilic Esophagitis Endoscopic Reference Score and the Eosinophilic Esophagitis Histologic Scoring System (EoEHSS). RESULTS: A trend toward lower microbial richness and alpha diversity was noted in children with EoE. Although the overall salivary microbiome composition was similar between children with and without EoE, specific taxa such as Streptococcus (q value = 0.06) tended to be abundant in children with active EoE compared with non-EoE controls. Haemophilus was significantly abundant in children with active EoE compared with inactive EoE (q value = 0.0008) and increased with the increasing EoEHSS and Eosinophilic Esophagitis Histology Scoring System (q value = 5e-10). In addition, 4 broad salivary microbial communities correlated with the EoEHSS. DISCUSSION: The composition of the salivary microbiome community structure can be altered in children with EoE. A relative abundance of Haemophilus positively correlates with the disease activity. These findings indicate that perturbations in the salivary microbiome may have a role in EoE pathobiology and could serve as a noninvasive marker of disease activity.