Blood flora diversity & composition & atherosclerosis
Recent studies have indicated that the blood microbiota may play a role in cardiovascular disease (CVD). Bacteria may influence circulation via atherosclerosis and thrombosis, and chronic infections have been associated with CVD risk. As such, recent studies have hypothesised that the blood microbiota of patients with acute coronary syndrome (ACS) and chronic coronary syndrome (CCS) may differ from that of healthy controls.
Despite this emerging hypothesis, the role of circulating microbes in atherosclerosis has yet to be investigated.
This study aimed to determine whether a particular microbiota is associated with atherosclerosis, specifically in the context of ACS and CCS.
Atherosclerotic patients (those with ACS and CCS) and healthy controls had different blood microbiota diversity and composition. As the circulating blood flora patterns were clustered in patients with ACS, CCS and healthy controls, the differing abundance of bacterial gena in atherosclerotic patients may reflect a shift in their circulating microbiome.
Proteobacteria phylum was found to be significantly prevalent in patients with ACS. This phylum produces lipopolysaccharides (LPS), which has been linked to the development of atherosclerosis.
ACS patients also displayed an increased level of Desulfobacterota, while patients with CCS showed a considerable reduction in Desulfobacterota quantity.
Interestingly, ACS patients possessed significantly higher alpha diversity levels than the CCS and healthy groups, while the CCS group had significantly lower alpha diversity than healthy controls. Alpha diversity indices reflect the diversity of bacterial taxa within a sample, and higher indices have been observed in non-communicable diseases.
More research is needed to confirm the existence of a causal relationship between blood flora and atherosclerosis.