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Systematic Review ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Neurol. | doi: 10.3389/fneur.2019.00727

A systematic review of the microbiome in children with neurodevelopmental disorders.

  • 1National Centre for Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Higher Institute of Health (ISS), Italy
  • 2Department of General Pediatrics and Infectious Diseases, Bambino Gesù Pediatric Hospital, Italy
  • 3Chair of Pediatrics, NESMOS Department, Faculty of Medicine and Psychology,, Sapienza University of Rome, Italy

Background and Purpose: Relationship between gut microbiome and central nervous system, have been suggested. The human microbiome may have an influence on brain’s development, indicating that dysbiosis may contribute in the etiology and progression of some neurological/neuropsychiatric disorders. The objective of this systematic review was to identify evidence on the characterization and differentiation of the microbiome in children with neurodevelopmental disorders, as compared to healthy children.
Methods: The review was performed following the methodology described in the Cochrane handbook for systematic reviews, and was reported based on the PRISMA statement for reporting systematic reviews and meta-analyses. All literature published up to June, 2018 was retrieved searching the databases PubMed, ISI Web of Science and the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. Only observational studies, published in English and reporting data on the characterization of the microbiome in humans aged 0-18 years with a neurodevelopmental disorder were included. Neurodevelopmental disorders were defined according to the definition included in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, version 5 (DSM–V).
Results: Bibliographic searches yielded 9229 records. One study was identified through other data sources. A total of 12 studies were selected based on their relevance and pertinence to the topic of the review, and were then applied the predefined inclusion and exclusion criteria. A total of 6 case-control studies met the inclusion criteria, and were thus included in the qualitative analysis and applied the NOS score. Two studies reported data on the gut microbiome of children with ADHD, while 4 reported data on either the gut (n=3) or the oral microbiome (n=1) of children with ASD.
Conclusions: All the six studies included in this review showed a high heterogeneity in terms of sample size, gender, clinical issues, and type of controls. This high heterogeneity, along with the small sample size of the included studies, strongly limited the external validity of results. The quality assessment performed using the NOS score showed an overall low to moderate methodological quality of the included studies. To better clarify the potential role of microbiome in patients with neurodevelopmental disorders, further high-quality observational (specifically cohort) studies are needed.

Keywords: Microbiome, , Neurodevelopment disease, gut brain axis, 16 rRNA gene, Systematic (Literature) Review

Received: 17 Feb 2019; Accepted: 19 Jun 2019.

Edited by:

Kirsten A. Donald, University of Cape Town, South Africa

Reviewed by:

Renata Rizzo, University of Catania, Italy
Shrish Budree, University of Cape Town, South Africa  

Copyright: © 2019 Lacorte, Gervasi, Bacigalupo, Vanacore, Raucci and Parisi. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Prof. Pasquale Parisi, Sapienza University of Rome, Chair of Pediatrics, NESMOS Department, Faculty of Medicine and Psychology,, Rome, Italy,