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Specific contributions of segmental transit times to gut microbiota composition
  1. Nele Steenackers1,
  2. Gwen Falony2,3,
  3. Patrick Augustijns4,
  4. Bart Van der Schueren1,5,
  5. Tim Vanuytsel6,7,
  6. Sara Vieira-Silva2,3,
  7. Lucas Wauters6,7,
  8. Jeroen Raes2,3,
  9. Christophe Matthys1,5
  1. 1Department of Chronic Diseases and Metabolism, Clinical and Experimental Endocrinology, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium
  2. 2Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Rega institute, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium
  3. 3Center for Microbiology, VIB, Leuven, Belgium
  4. 4Department of Pharmaceutical and Pharmacological Sciences, Drug Delivery and Disposition, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium
  5. 5Department of Endocrinology, University Hospitals Leuven, Leuven, Belgium
  6. 6Department of Chronic Diseases and Metabolism, Translational Research Center for Gastrointestinal Disorders, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium
  7. 7Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, University Hospitals Leuven, Leuven, Belgium
  1. Correspondence to Professor Christophe Matthys, Department of Chronic Diseases and Metabolism, Clinical and Experimental Endocrinology, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium; christophe.matthys{at}uzleuven.be

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We read with great interest the study by Asnicar and colleagues, describing the exploration of gut microbiota composition in relation to gut transit time using the ‘blue dye’ method.1 In agreement with previous research, the authors provided convincing evidence that longer gut transit times are linked to increasing relative abundances of microbial species (ie, Akkermansia muciniphila, Bacteroides spp. and Alistipes spp.).1–3 However, despite practical advantages, the ‘blue dye’ method does not allow to distinguish between segmental transit times.

In a recent study, we investigated segmental transit time and passage-related variation in pressure and pH in 22 individuals (11 subjects with normal weight and 11 subjects with obesity) using a wireless motility capsule (SmartPill©).4 During capsule passage, participants were asked to collect a faecal sample. Samples were subjected to 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing according to Valles-Colomer et al.5 Associations between clinical and SmartPill© variables and faecal microbiota community variation were assessed using single and stepwise multivariate distance-based redundancy analyses (dbRDA). Next, we explored associations between the microbiome covariates identified and participants’ enterotypes using Kruskal-Wallis test with post-hoc pairwise Dunn’s test.6 Finally, correlations between relative abundances of genera and significant variables were assessed …

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Footnotes

  • NS and GF are joint first authors.

  • JR and CM are joint senior authors.

  • Twitter @NeleSteenackers

  • Contributors NS helped in study conceptualisation, study design, data collection, data analysis, data interpretation and drafted the manuscript. GF helped in study conceptualisation, data analysis, data interpretation and revision of the manuscript. PA helped in study conceptualisation and revision of the manuscript. BVdS helped in study conceptualisation, study supervision and revision of the manuscript. TV helped in study conceptualisation, study supervision, data interpretation and revision of the manuscript. SVS helped in data analysis, data interpretation and revision of the manuscript. LW helped in data interpretation and revision of the manuscript. JR helped in revision of the manuscript. CM helped in study conceptualisation, study design, data interpretation and revision of the manuscript. NS and GF contributed equally as first authors to this paper. JR and CM contributed equally as last authors to this paper.

  • Funding The research was supported by a KU Leuven research grant [C32/17/046]. The purchase of the SmartPill© Equipment was supported by the Flanders Research Foundation [1520617N]. TV is supported by a senior clinical research fellowship of the Flanders Research Foundation [1830517N] and LW by a doctoral fellowship [1190619N] of the Flanders Research Foundation.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient and public involvement Patients and/or the public were not involved in the design, or conduct, or reporting, or dissemination plans of this research.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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