The potential of fecal microbiota and amino acids to detect and monitor patients with adenoma

Sofie Bosch, Animesh Acharjee, Mohammed N Quraishi, Patricia Rojas, Abdellatif Bakkali, Erwin Ew Jansen, Marina Brizzio Brentar, Johan Kuijvenhoven, Pieter Stokkers, Eduard Struys, Andrew D Beggs, Georgios V Gkoutos, Tim Gj de Meij, Nanne Kh de Boer

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The risk of recurrent dysplastic colonic lesions is increased following polypectomy. Yield of endoscopic surveillance after adenoma removal is low, while interval colorectal cancers occur. To longitudinally assess the dynamics of fecal microbiota and amino acids in the presence of adenomatous lesions and after their endoscopic removal. In this longitudinal case-control study, patients collected fecal samples prior to bowel preparation before scheduled colonoscopy and 3 months after this intervention. Based on colonoscopy outcomes, patients with advanced adenomas and nonadvanced adenomas (0.5-1.0 cm) who underwent polypectomy during endoscopy (n = 19) were strictly matched on age, body-mass index, and smoking habits to controls without endoscopic abnormalities (n = 19). Microbial taxa were measured by 16S RNA sequencing, and amino acids (AA) were measured by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Adenoma patients were discriminated from controls based on AA and microbial composition. Levels of proline (p = .001), ornithine (p = .02) and serine (p = .02) were increased in adenoma patients compared to controls but decreased to resemble those of controls after adenoma removal. These AAs were combined as a potential adenoma-specific panel (AUC 0.79(0.64-0.94)). For bacterial taxa, differences between patients with adenomas and controls were found (Bifidobacterium spp.↓, Anaerostipes spp.↓, Butyricimonas spp.↑, Faecalitalea spp.↑ and Catenibacterium spp.↑), but no alterations in relative abundance were observed after polypectomy. Furthermore, Faecalitalea spp. and Butyricimonas spp. were significantly correlated with adenoma-specific amino acids. We selected an amino acid panel specifically increased in the presence of adenomas and a microbial signature present in adenoma patients, irrespective of polypectomy. Upon validation, these panels may improve the effectiveness of the surveillance program by detection of high-risk individuals and determination of surveillance endoscopy timing, leading to less unnecessary endoscopies and less interval cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2038863
Number of pages16
JournalGut Microbes
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 21 Feb 2022


  • adenoma
  • biomarker
  • colorectal cancer
  • omics
  • surveillance


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