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Functional abdominal pain and discomfort (IBS) is not associated with faecal microbiota composition in the general population
  1. Fabian Frost1,
  2. Tim Kacprowski2,3,
  3. Malte Christoph Rühlemann4,
  4. Andre Franke4,
  5. Femke-Anouska Heinsen4,
  6. Uwe Völker2,
  7. Henry Völzke5,
  8. Ali A Aghdassi1,
  9. Julia Mayerle1,6,
  10. Frank U Weiss1,
  11. Georg Homuth2,
  12. Markus M Lerch1
  1. 1Department of Medicine A, University Medicine Greifswald, Greifswald, Germany
  2. 2Department of Functional Genomics, Interfaculty Institute for Genetics and Functional Genomics, University Medicine Greifswald, Greifswald, Germany
  3. 3Chair of Experimental Bioinformatics, TUM School of Life Sciences Weihenstephan, Technical University of Munich, Freising-Weihenstephan, Germany
  4. 4Institute of Clinical Molecular Biology, Christian Albrechts University of Kiel, Kiel, Germany
  5. 5Institute for Community Medicine, University Medicine Greifswald, Greifswald, Germany
  6. 6Department of Medicine II, University Hospital, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, Munich, Germany
  1. Correspondence to Professor Markus M Lerch, Department of Medicine A, University Medicine Greifswald, Greifswald 17475, Germany; lerch{at}uni-greifswald.de

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We read with interest the study by Simrén et al1 addressing the correlation between GI symptoms and functional GI disorders (eg, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)) and the comment by Hadizadeh et al2 reporting abdominal pain sensation to be associated with an altered faecal microbiota composition. Hadizadeh et al2 propose from their study on 159 individuals that their results may allow to develop novel tools for diagnosis and management of IBS and dyspepsia. We tried to replicate their findings in the population-based Study of Health in Pomerania (SHIP-Trend)3 using stool samples from 906 volunteers to analyse faecal microbiota composition and diversity by 16S rRNA gene sequencing as previously described.4 Twenty participants were excluded for incomplete phenotypic data or antibiotic treatment at sample collection. Of the remaining 886 individuals (age: 51 years (40–61), median (first to third quartiles); female: 56.4%), 172 (19.4%) reported abdominal pain or discomfort for at least 3 days per month during the last 3 months (cases), whereas 714 did not (controls). To estimate …

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