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Medical Science Monitor Basic Research


eISSN: 1643-3750

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Association Between Gut Bacterial Diversity and Mortality in Septic Shock Patients: A Cohort Study

Lei Yin, You-Dong Wan, Xin-Ting Pan, Chang-Yong Zhou, Nan Lin, Cheng-Tai Ma, Jian Yao, Zhe Su, Chao Wan, Yan-Wu Yu, Rui-Xue Zhu

(Department of Emergency, The Affiliated Hospital of Qingdao University, Qingdao, Shandong, China (mainland))

Med Sci Monit 2019; 25:7376-7382

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.916808

BACKGROUND: Gut bacterial diversity is decreased in a proportion of patients with septic shock. We attempted to validate the hypothesis that low bacterial diversity increases the risk of mortality.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: All patients with septic shock seen at 2 medical center from 2016 through 2019 were included in this cohort study. Total DNA was isolated from stool, and high-throughput sequencing was performed. Clinical data were extracted from patient medical records and hospital databases. Patients were grouped by gut microbiota bacterial diversity (measured by Shannon diversity index) on presentation. We used logistic regression analysis to evaluate the risk of 28-day mortality in septic patients with low Shannon diversity index.
RESULTS: Of the 150 patients enrolled in this study, low bacterial diversity (Shannon index <3.0) was found in 80 patients and normal diversity (Shannon index ≥3.0) was found in 70 patients. Low diversity was associated with a higher unadjusted mortality risk, compared to those with normal diversity (odds ratio [OR] 2.04, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.35-2.83). However, this result became non-significant after adjusting the confounding factors such as age, sex, severity of disease, comorbid status, usage of probiotics, enteral nutrition, and antimicrobial drugs (OR 1.93, 95% CI 0.55-2.69).
CONCLUSIONS: Our study does not support that low gut bacterial diversity is an independent risk factor for mortality in intensive care unit patients with septic shock.

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