Scientific reports

From an imbalance to a new imbalance: Italian-style gluten-free diet alters the salivary microbiota and metabolome of African celiac children.

PMID 26681599


Fourteen Saharawi celiac children following an African-style gluten-free diet for at least two years were subjected to a change of diet to an Italian-style gluten-free diet for 60 days. Significant differences were identified in the salivary microbiota and metabolome when Saharawi celiac children switched from African- to Italian-style dietary habits. An Italian-style gluten-free diet caused increases in the abundance of Granulicatella, Porphyromonas and Neisseria and decreases in Clostridium, Prevotella and Veillonella, altering the 'salivary type' of the individuals. Furthermore, operational taxonomic unit co-occurrence/exclusion patterns indicated that the initial equilibrium of co-occurring microbial species was perturbed by a change in diet: the microbial diversity was reduced, with a few species out-competing the previously established microbiota and becoming dominant. Analysis of predicted metagenomes revealed a remarkable change in the metabolic potential of the microbiota following the diet change, with increased potential for amino acid, vitamin and co-factor metabolism. High concentrations of acetone and 2-butanone during treatment with the Italian-style gluten-free diet suggested metabolic dysfunction in the Saharawi celiac children. The findings of this study support the need for a translational medicine pipeline to examine interactions between food and microbiota when evaluating human development, nutritional needs and the impact and consequences of westernisation.