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Enteric parasitic infection disturbs bacterial structure in Mexican children with autoantibodies for type 1 diabetes and/or celiac disease.

Background: Intestinal bacterial dysbiosis and increased gut permeability are associated with higher risk of developing type 1 diabetes (T1D) or celiac disease (CD). There is a lack of information on parasitism involved in gut disturbance of predisposed children. We evaluated the effect of enteropathogenic parasites ( Cryptosporidium spp., Cyclospora spp. G. lamblia , and Blastocystis spp.) on the bacterial structure of feces from children with autoantibodies for T1D or CD. Participants included 37 children under 18 years of age, from whom stools were analyzed for enteric parasites by qPCR and 22/37 for bacterial profile by sequencing the V3-V4 region of the 16s rRNA gene. Dietary, clinical, and socioeconomic data was recorded.

Results: Pathogens parasitized 28/37 participants, Cryptosporidium spp. was the most prevalent (62.2%), followed by both Cyclospora cayetanensis and Blastocystis spp (37.8%). There were no dietary differences ( p  > 0.05) attributable to parasitism. Co-infected participants with Cryptosporidium and Cyclospora did not differ (p = 0.064) from non-infected participants in bacterial alpha phylogenetic diversity. The same parasites' co-infection was associated with a decreased abundance of the Ruminococaceae (p = 0.04) and Verrucomicrobioceae families, of the Akkermansia genus (p = 0.009). There was a lower Firmicutes/Bacteroidetes ratio (p = 0.02) in infected than in uninfected participants.

Conclusions: Cryptosporidium and Cyclospora affected the bacterial structure at family and genus levels, decreasing the ratio between Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes in children with auto-antibodies for T1D or CD, which could increase the risk of illness onset.

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