News Release

Children with type 1 diabetes may have a less desirable gut bacteria composition

Artificial intelligence defines the microbiome's role in diabetes development

Peer-Reviewed Publication

The Endocrine Society

WASHINGTON--Children with type 1 diabetes have a less desirable gut microbiome composition which may play a role in the development of the disease, according to new research published in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Type 1 diabetes most often occurs in children and adolescents and is a disease in which a person's pancreas produces little or no insulin. The prevalence of type 1 diabetes in children is related not only to genetic predisposition, but also to environmental factors such as gut health and gut-microbiota composition. The gut microbiome is a community of bacteria within the gastrointestinal tract that have a major influence on metabolism, body weight, the development of disease and the immune system.

"We found a particular gut microbiota composition that is associated with poorer blood sugar measures in a group of children and adolescents with newly-diagnosed type 1 diabetes," said the study's corresponding author, Giuseppe d'Annunzio, M.D., of the Istituto Giannina Gaslini in Genoa, Italy. "We used a form of artificial intelligence called machine learning to do a more thorough and robust genetic analysis."

The researchers studied the microbiomes of 31 children with type 1 diabetes and 25 children who did not have diabetes. They used machine learning analysis and genetic analysis and found patients with type 1 diabetes had a significantly higher amount of gut bacteria linked to the onset of diabetes.

"Gut microbiota composition deserves attention as a new topic of research in the development of several diseases," d'Annunzio said.


Other authors include Roberto Biassoni, Eddi Di Marco, Gianluca Piccolo, Elisabetta Ugolotti, Cinzia Gatti, and Nicola Minuto of the Istituto Giannina Gaslini; Margherita Squillario, Annalisa Barla, and Giuseppa Patti of the University of Genoa in Italy; and Mohamad Maghnie of the Istituto Giannina Gaslini and the University of Genoa.

The study was supported by the Ministero della Salute, the Italian Ministry of Health.

The manuscript, "Gut Microbiota in TIDM-Onset Pediatric Patients: Machine Learning Algorithms to Classify Microorganisms Disease-Linked," was published online, ahead of print.

Endocrinologists are at the core of solving the most pressing health problems of our time, from diabetes and obesity to infertility, bone health, and hormone-related cancers. The Endocrine Society is the world's oldest and largest organization of scientists devoted to hormone research and physicians who care for people with hormone-related conditions.

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