Microbial DNA isolated from the stools of 24 persons with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) and 12 healthy persons revealed marked differences in the abundance of 190 bacterial operational taxonomic units (OTUs) between the two groups.

The ESRD patients had markedly more OTUs from Enterobacteriaceae, Pseudomonadaceae, and seven other families.

Additional studies in rates demonstrated a significant difference in the abundance of 175 bacterial OTUs between uremic and control animals, most notably as decreases in the Lactobacillaceae and Prevotellaceae families.

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Writing in an online report in Kidney International, Nosratola D. Vaziri, MD, and colleagues at the University of California-Irvine concluded that uremia profoundly alters the composition of the gut microbiome. Although the biological impact of this phenomenon is unknown and awaits further investigation, the profound alteration of the intestinal microbial population may contribute to the production of uremic toxins, systemic and local inflammation, and nutritional abnormalities present in persons with advanced chronic kidney disease.