The Gut Microbiota Profile in Children with Prader-Willi Syndrome

Type Article

Journal Article


Y. Peng; Q. Tan; S. Afhami; E. C. Deehan; S. Liang; M. Gantz; L. Triador; K. L. Madsen; J. Walter; H. M. Tun; A. M. Haqq

Year of publication



Genes (Basel)







Although gut microbiota has been suggested to play a role in disease phenotypes of Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS), little is known about its composition in affected children and how it relates to hyperphagia. This cross-sectional study aimed to characterize the gut bacterial and fungal communities of children with PWS, and to determine associations with hyperphagia. Fecal samples were collected from 25 children with PWS and 25 age-, sex-, and body mass index-matched controls. Dietary intake data, hyperphagia scores, and relevant clinical information were also obtained. Fecal bacterial and fungal communities were characterized by 16S rRNA and ITS2 sequencing, respectively. Overall bacterial α-diversity and compositions of PWS were not different from those of the controls, but 13 bacterial genera were identified to be differentially abundant. Interestingly, the fungal community, as well as specific genera, were different between PWS and controls. The majority of the variation in the gut microbiota was not attributed to differences in dietary intake or the impact of genotype. Hyperphagia scores were associated with fungal α-diversity and relative abundance of several taxa, such as Staphylococcus, Clostridium, SMB53, and Candida. Further longitudinal studies correlating changes in the microbiome with the degree of hyperphagia and studies integrating multi-omics data are warranted.