Aly Kodio 1 , 2 , Drissa Coulibaly 3 , Abdoulaye Kassoum Koné 3 , Salimata Konaté 3 , Safiatou Doumbo 3 , Abdoulaye Guindo 3 , Fadi Bittar 2 , 4 , Frédérique Gouriet 2 , 4 , Didier Raoult 2 , 4 , Mahamadou Aly Thera 3 , Stéphane Ranque 1 , 2 , *
04 December 2019
Blastocystis is the most common protozoan colonizing the gut of vertebrates. It modulates the human digestive microbiota in the absence of inflammation and gastrointestinal disease. Although it has been associated with human diseases, including inflammatory bowel disease, its pathogenicity remains controversial. This study aimed to assess the influence of Blastocystis on the gut bacterial communities in healthy children. We conducted a cross-sectional study on 147 Blastocystis-colonized and 149 Blastocystis-noncolonized Malian children, with Blastocystis colonization assessed by real-time PCR and gut microbial communities characterized via 16S rRNA gene (Illumina MiSeq) sequencing and bioinformatics analysis. The gut microbiota diversity was higher in Blastocystis-colonized compared to Blastocystis-noncolonized children. The phyla Firmicutes, Elusimicrobia, Lentisphaerae, and Euryarchaeota were higher in Blastocystis-colonized children, whereas Actinobacteria, Proteobacteria, unassigned bacteria, and Deinococcus–Thermus were higher in Blastocystis-noncolonized children. Moreover, Faecalibacterium prausnitzii (family Ruminococcaceae) and Roseburia sp. (family Lachnospiraceae) abundance was higher in Blastocystis-colonized children. We conclude that Blastocystis colonization is significantly associated with a higher diversity of the gut bacterial communities in healthy children, while it is not associated with the presence of potentially pathogenic bacteria in the human gut.