Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Molecular Characterization of Circulating Microbiome Signatures in Rheumatoid Arthritis

Hammad, DBM; Hider, SL; Liyanapathirana, VC; Tonge, DP

Molecular Characterization of Circulating Microbiome Signatures in Rheumatoid Arthritis Thumbnail


DBM Hammad

VC Liyanapathirana


Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) has been increasingly associated with perturbations to the microbial communities that reside in and on the body (the microbiome), in both human and animal studies. To date, such studies have mainly focused on the microbial communities that inhabit the gut and oral cavity. Mounting evidence suggests that microbial DNA can be detected in the blood circulation using a range of molecular methods. This DNA may represent an untapped pool of biomarkers that have the potential to report on changes to the microbiome of distant sites (e.g., example, the gut and oral cavity). To this end, through amplification and sequencing of the bacterial 16S rRNA variable region four, we evaluated the presence and identity of microbial DNA in blood samples obtained from RA patients (both prior to and 3 months following the instigation of treatment) in comparison to a small number of healthy control subjects and samples obtained from patients with ankylosing spondylitis (AS) and psoriatic arthritis (PA). Bacterial-derived DNA was identified in the majority of our patient samples. Taxonomic classification revealed that the microbiome community in RA was distinct from AS, PA, and the healthy state. Through analysis of paired patient samples obtained prior to and 3 months following treatment (V0 vs. V3), we found the microbiome to be modulated by treatment, and in many cases, this shift reduced the distance between these samples and the healthy control samples, suggesting a partial normalization following treatment in some patients. This effect was especially evident in seronegative arthritis patients. Herein, we provide further evidence for the existence of a blood microbiome in health and identify specific taxa modulated in disease and following treatment. These blood-derived signatures may have significant utility as disease biomarkers and suggest this area warrants further investigation.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Dec 9, 2019
Online Publication Date Jan 22, 2020
Publication Date Jan 22, 2020
Journal Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology
Publisher Frontiers Media
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 9
Article Number 440
Keywords 16S, biomarker, blood microbiome, microbiome, rheumatoid
Publisher URL


You might also like

Downloadable Citations