Integrated metabolic and microbial analysis reveals host–microbial interactions in IgE-mediated childhood asthma

Chih Yung Chiu*, Mei Ling Cheng, Meng Han Chiang, Chia Jung Wang, Ming Han Tsai, Gigin Lin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

15 Scopus citations


A metabolomics-based approach to address the molecular mechanism of childhood asthma with immunoglobulin E (IgE) or allergen sensitization related to microbiome in the airways remains lacking. Fifty-three children with lowly sensitized non-atopic asthma (n = 15), highly sensitized atopic asthma (n = 13), and healthy controls (n = 25) were enrolled. Blood metabolomic analysis with 1H-nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy and airway microbiome composition analysis by bacterial 16S rRNA sequencing were performed. An integrative analysis of their associations with allergen-specific IgE levels for lowly and highly sensitized asthma was also assessed. Four metabolites including tyrosine, isovalerate, glycine, and histidine were uniquely associated with lowly sensitized asthma, whereas one metabolite, acetic acid, was strongly associated with highly sensitized asthma. Metabolites associated with highly sensitized asthma (valine, isobutyric acid, and acetic acid) and lowly sensitized asthma (isovalerate, tyrosine, and histidine) were strongly correlated each other (P < 0.01). Highly sensitized asthma associated metabolites were mainly enriched in pyruvate and acetyl-CoA metabolisms. Metabolites associated with highly sensitized atopic asthma were mostly correlated with microbiota in the airways. Acetic acid, a short-chain fatty acid (SCFA), was negatively correlated with the genus Atopobium (P < 0.01), but positively correlated with the genus Fusobacterium (P < 0.05). In conclusion, metabolomics reveals microbes-related metabolic pathways associated with IgE responses to house dust mite allergens in childhood asthma. A strong correlation of metabolites related to highly sensitized atopic asthma with airway microbiota provides linkages between the host–microbial interactions and asthma endotypes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number23407
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - 12 2021

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