Abstract P618
The MS Microbiome Consortium (MSMC): an academic multi-disciplinary collaborative effort to elucidate the role of the gut microbiota in MS Print
SE Baranzini1, I Katz-Sand2, SK Mazmanian3, Y Becosme2, J London2, R Farber2, R Kanner1, R Gomez1, BA Cree1, R Knight4, P Casaccia2
1University of California San Francisco, Neurology, San Francisco, CA, United States, 2Mount Sinai School of Medicine, Neurology, New York, NY, United States, 3California Institute of Technology, Biology and Biological Engineering, Pasadena, CA, United States, 4University of Colorado, Boulder, Chemistry and Biochemistry, Boulder, CO, United States
Background: The vast collection of microbial organisms that inhabit the human gut (collectively known as microbiota) can shape immune responses and modulate susceptibility to chronic diseases. When the balance that normally exists in the gut microbiota is altered (dysbiosis), a number of diseases may result. Recent studies have related gut dysbiosis with development or severity of Crohn's disease, type I diabetes, obesity and autism.
Objectives: To develop a multi-Center academic consortium that designs and implements a translational framework to evaluate the effect of gut dysbiosis in MS. Our goals include elucidating the role of gut microbiota in the different MS clinical phenotypes and response to disease modifying therapies (DMT) as well as to evaluate disease causality using animal models.
Methods: The MSMC is an IRB-sanctioned, multi-disciplinary collaboration composed of two translational and dedicated MS Centers (Mt Sinai and UCSF), and a microbiome-oriented basic/experimental program and sequencing/bioinformatics Core. The MSMC has collected hundreds of samples and is currently analyzing their gut microbiomes by 16S bacterial DNA by massively parallel sequencing. The analysis is primarily conducted using the QIIME pipeline and aims at identifying group differences at the genus-level. Variables being tracked include MS disease activity status, clinical phenotype, DMT use, gender, dietary habits, sample collection mode, and Center of origin.
Results: The MSMC has successfully implemented IRB-approved protocols to recruit MS patients and controls from both MS Centers and to process and analyze their blood and stool samples. Our initial results show significant genus-level differences in the microbiomes of patients treated with glatiramer acetate compared to untreated subjects. Significant enrichment of members of the Enterobacteriaceae family were identified when comparing female patients to gender-matched controls. Geographical differences were also identified when comparing samples collected in New York vs. the San Francisco Bay Area.
Conclusions: Founded by a group of leading MS and microbiome investigators, the MSMC is uniquely positioned to advance the study of the microbiome in MS. While still a modest-sized study, observed differences between cases and controls suggest a biological effect and warrant further investigation. The identification of regional differences in microbiota composition highlight the need to adequately control for geography, as well as dietary and socioeconomic factors.

Assigned speakers:
PhD Sergio Baranzini , University of California San Francisco , San Francisco , US

Assigned in sessions:
12.09.2014, 14:45-16:15, Poster viewing, poster sessions, P2, Poster Session 2 (P491-P981) and Coffee Break, Hall C