BioScience Trends. 2024;18(3):233-249. (DOI: 10.5582/bst.2024.01123)

Revealing the gut microbiome mystery: A meta-analysis revealing differences between individuals with autism spectrum disorder and neurotypical children

Yang CJ, Xiao HL, Zhu H, Du YJ, Wang L


The brain-gut axis intricately links gut microbiota (GM) dysbiosis to the development or worsening of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). However, the precise GM composition in ASD and the effectiveness of probiotics are unclear. To address this, we performed a thorough meta-analysis of 28 studies spanning PubMed, PsycINFO, Web of Science, Scopus, and MEDLINE, involving 1,256 children with ASD and 1042 neurotypical children, up to February 2024. Using Revman 5.3, we analyzed the relative abundance of 8 phyla and 64 genera. While individuals with ASD did not exhibit significant differences in included phyla, they exhibited elevated levels of Parabacteroides, Anaerostipes, Faecalibacterium, Clostridium, Dorea, Phascolarctobacterium, Lachnoclostridium, Catenibacterium, and Collinsella along with reduced percentages of Barnesiella, Odoribacter, Paraprevotella, Blautia, Turicibacter, Lachnospira, Pseudomonas, Parasutterella, Haemophilus, and Bifidobacterium. Notably, discrepancies in Faecalibacterium, Clostridium, Dorea, Phascolarctobacterium, Catenibacterium, Odoribacter, and Bifidobacterium persisted even upon systematic exclusion of individual studies. Consequently, the GM of individuals with ASD demonstrates an imbalance, with potential increases or decreases in both beneficial and harmful bacteria. Therefore, personalized probiotic interventions tailored to ASD specifics are imperative, rather than a one-size-fits-all approach.

KEYWORDS: autism spectrum disorder (ASD), gut microbiota, meta-analysis, neurotypical children

Full Text: