Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, Vol.105, No.6, 2473-2484, 2021
Gut microbiota alterations associated with antibody-mediated rejection after kidney transplantation
Antibody-mediated rejection (AMR) has become the major challenge for kidney transplantation, and the efficacy of existing therapies was limited to prevent AMR. Increasing evidences have demonstrated the link between gut microbiota alterations and allograft outcome. However, there has been no comprehensive analysis to profile the gut microbiota associated with AMR after kidney transplantation. We performed this study to characterize the gut microbiota possibly associated with AMR. Fecal specimens were collected from 24 kidney transplantation recipients with AMR and 29 controls. DNA extracted from the specimens was processed for 16S rRNA gene sequencing using Illumina MiSeq. Gut microbial community of recipients with AMR was significantly different from that of controls based on unweighted (P = 0.001) and weighted (P = 0.02) UniFrac distances, and the bacterial richness (observed species: P = 0.0448; Chao1 index: P = 0.0450; ACE index: P = 0.0331) significantly decreased in the AMR group. LEfSe showed that 1 phylum, 5 classes, 7 families, and 10 genera were increased, whereas 1 class, 2 order, 3 families, and 4 genera were decreased in the AMR group. Specific taxa such as Clostridiales could be potentially used as biomarkers to distinguish the recipients with AMR from the controls (AUC = 0.77). PICRUSt analysis illustrated that 16 functional pathways were with significantly different abundances in the AMR and control groups. Our findings provide a foundation for further investigation on the role of gut microbiota in AMR after kidney transplantation, and potentially support novel diagnostic biomarkers and therapeutic options for AMR.