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BACKGROUND: Exclusive enteral nutrition (EEN) supplementation of the standard of care (SOC) augments steroid responsiveness in patients with acute severe ulcerative colitis (ASUC). EEN is known to alter gut microbial composition. The present study investigates EEN-driven gut microbial alterations in patients with ASUC and examines their correlations with clinical parameters. METHODS: Stool samples from patients with ASUC (n = 44) who received either EEN-supplemented SOC (EEN group; n = 20) or SOC alone (SOC group; n = 24) for 7 days were collected at baseline (day 0) and postintervention (day 7). Microbiome analysis was carried out using 16S ribosomal RNA gene sequencing followed by data processing using QIIME2 and R packages. RESULTS: Seven-day EEN-conjugated corticosteroid therapy in patients with ASUC enhanced the abundances of beneficial bacterial genera Faecalibacterium and Veillonella and reduced the abundance of Sphingomonas (generalized linear model fitted with Lasso regularization with robustness of 100%), while no such improvements in gut microbiota were observed in the SOC group. The EEN-associated taxa correlated with the patient's clinical parameters (serum albumin and C-reactive protein levels). Unlike the SOC group, which retained its preintervention core microbiota, EEN contributed Faecalibacterium prausnitzii, a beneficial gut bacterial taxon, to the gut microbial core. EEN responders showed enhancement of Ligilactobacillus and Veillonella and reduction in Prevotella and Granulicatella. Analysis of baseline gut microbiota showed relative enhancement of certain microbial genera being associated with corticosteroid response and baseline clinical parameters and that this signature could conceivably be used as a predictive tool. CONCLUSIONS: Augmentation of clinical response by EEN-conjugated corticosteroid therapy is accompanied by beneficial gut microbial changes in patients with ASUC.

Original publication




Journal article


Inflamm Bowel Dis

Publication Date





641 - 650


ASUC, EEN, acute severe ulcerative colitis, exclusive enteral nutrition, gut microbiome, Humans, Gastrointestinal Microbiome, Crohn Disease, Enteral Nutrition, Colitis, Ulcerative, Bacteria, Adrenal Cortex Hormones, Remission Induction