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Background: Acute Coronary Syndrome (ACS) is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality. Perturbed gut- microbiota (dysbiosis) and increased intestinal permeability (leaky-gut) with translocation of bacterial antigens, play critical role in obesity and metabolic syndrome, which are also major ACS risk factors. Additionally, Trimethylamine-N-Oxide (TMAO), a metabolite produced by phylum Proteobacteria in gut is implicated in developing ACS. As Proteobacteria is a major source of translocated antigen lipopolysaccharides (LPS), we hypothesized that ACS patients have leaky-gut condition characterized by dysbiosis with increased Proteobacteria, leading to elevated blood levels of TMAO and LPS.

Methods: In a pilot case-control study, we enrolled 19 ACS patients (within 72-h of cardiac events) and 19 healthy-controls. Gut barrier function was determined using lactulose-to-mannitol urinary excretion ratio (L/M ratio). Stool microbiome composition was examined using16S sequencing and predictive functional analysis for LPS biosynthesis pathway by PICRUSt tool. Serum TMAO and LPS levels were measured.

Results: ACS patients had increased Gammaproteobacteria compared to controls:1.8 ±3.0 vs. 0.2 ±0.4% (P =0.04). Though Proteobacteria level was increased but not statistically significant: 4.1 ±3.8 vs. 2.1 ±1.7% (P =0.056). L/M-ratio was three times higher in ACS patients; 0.06 ±0.07 vs 0.023 ±0.02, (P =0.014). Surprisingly, there was no difference in the mean serum LPS or TMAO levels. However, PICRUSt analysis indicated increased Proteobacteria population increasingly contributed to LPS biosynthesis in ACS patients only.

Conclusions: ACS patients likely to have leaky-gut and perturbed gut microbiota. Further studies are required to precisely define the role of dysbiosis in ACS.

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Hum Microb J