Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is associated with gut dysbiosis, even in patients with mild liver disease, a recent study found. Fecal samples from 166 chronic hepatitis C (CHC) patients were compared with those from 23 healthy individuals. CHC patients were diagnosed with persistently normal serum alanine aminotransferase without evidence of liver cirrhosis (LC) (PNALT, n=18), chronic hepatitis (CH, n=84), LC (n=40), and hepatocellular carcinoma in LC (n=24). Researchers found:
- Bacterial diversity was lower in those with HCV infection, with a decrease in the order Clostridiales and an increased in Streptococcus and Lactobacillus.
- Microbiota dysbiosis already appeared in the PNALT stage with the transient increase in Bacteroides and Enterobacteriaceae.
- Overgrowth of ciridans streptococci can account for hyperammonemia in CH and LC.
Inoue T, Nakayama J, Moriya K, et al. Gut dysbiosis associated with hepatitis C virus infection. [Published online ahead of print May 1, 2018]. Clin Infect Dis. doi.10.1093/cid/ciy205.
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