Association of the gut microbiome and metabolome with wheeze frequency in childhood asthma

Kathleen Lee-Sarwar, Sandra Dedrick, Babak Momeni, Rachel S. Kelly, Robert S. Zeiger, George T. O'Connor, Megan T. Sandel, Leonard B. Bacharier, Avraham Beigelman, Nancy Laranjo, Diane R. Gold, Jessica Lasky-Su, Augusto A. Litonjua, Yang Yu Liu, Scott T. Weiss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Background: While the microbiome has an established role in asthma development, less is known about its contribution to morbidity in children with asthma. Objective: In this ancillary study of the Vitamin D Antenatal Asthma Reduction Trial (VDAART), we analyzed the gut microbiome and metabolome of wheeze frequency in children with asthma. Methods: Bacterial 16S ribosomal RNA microbiome and untargeted metabolomic profiling were performed on fecal samples collected from 3-year-old children with parent-reported physician-diagnosed asthma. We analyzed wheeze frequency by calculating the proportion of quarterly questionnaires administered between ages 3 and 5 years in which parents reported the child had wheezed (wheeze proportion). Taxa and metabolites associated with wheeze were analyzed by identifying log fold changes with respect to wheeze frequency and correlation/linear regression analyses, respectively. Microbe–metabolite and microbe–microbe correlation networks were compared between subjects with high and low wheeze proportion. Results: Specific taxa, including the genus Veillonella and histidine pathway metabolites, were enriched in subjects with high wheeze proportion. Among wheeze-associated taxa, Veillonella and Oscillospiraceae UCG-005, which was inversely associated with wheeze, were correlated with the greatest number of fecal metabolites. Microbial networks were similar between subjects with low versus high wheeze frequency. Conclusion: Gut microbiome features are associated with wheeze frequency in children with asthma, suggesting an impact of the gut microbiome on morbidity in childhood asthma.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)325-336
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2022


  • Microbiome
  • asthma
  • metabolomics
  • wheeze


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