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Papers: 7 Oct 2023 - 13 Oct 2023

2023 Oct 06

AMB Express




Alterations of the gut microbiota in patients with postherpetic neuralgia.


Jiao B, Cao X, Zhang C, Zhang W, Yu S, Zhang M, Zhang X


Postherpetic neuralgia (PHN) is a prevalent, intricate, and intractable form of neuropathic pain. The available evidence indicates that alterations in the gut microbiota are significant environmental determinants in the development of chronic neuropathic pain. Nevertheless, the correlation between the gut microbiota and PHN remains elusive. A cross-sectional study was performed on a cohort of 27 patients diagnosed with PHN and 27 matched healthy controls. Fecal samples were collected and subjected to microbiota analysis using 16S ribosomal RNA gene sequencing. Comparable levels of bacterial richness and diversity were observed in the gut microbiota of PHN patients and healthy controls. A significant difference was observed in 37 genera between the two groups. Furthermore, the LEfSe method revealed that the abundance levels of Escherichia-Shigella, Streptococcus, Ligilactobacillus, and Clostridia_UCG-014_unclassified were elevated in PHN patients, while Eubacterium_hallii_group, Butyricicoccus, Tyzzerella, Dorea, Parasutterella, Romboutsia, Megamonas, and Agathobacter genera were reduced in comparison to healthy controls. Significantly, the discriminant model utilizing the predominant microbiota exhibited efficacy in distinguishing PHN patients from healthy controls, with an area under the curve value of 0.824. Moreover, Spearman correlation analysis demonstrated noteworthy correlations between various gut microbiota and clinical symptoms, including disease course, anxiety state, sleep quality, heat pain, pain intensity, and itching intensity. Gut microbiota dysbiosis exists in PHN patients, microbiome differences could be used to distinguish PHN patients from normal healthy individuals with high sensitivity and specificity, and altered gut microbiota are related to clinical manifestations, suggesting potentially novel prevention and therapeutic directions of PHN.