Bazin T et al., (2018) . Scientific reports 8, Article number: 5446 (2018) (Open Access).
Spondyloarthritis (SpA) pathophysiology remains largely unknown. While the association with genetic factors has been established for decades, the influence of gut microbiota is only an emerging direction of research. Despite the remarkable efficacy of anti-TNF-α treatments, non-responders are frequent and no predictive factors of patient outcome have been identified. Our objective was to investigate the modifications of intestinal microbiota composition in patients suffering from SpA three months after an anti-TNF-α treatment. We performed 16S rDNA sequencing of 38 stool samples from 19 spondyloarthritis patients before and three months after anti-TNF-α treatment onset. SpA activity was assessed at each time using ASDAS and BASDAI scores. Some modifications of the microbiota composition were observed after three months of anti-TNF-α treatment, but no specific taxon was modified, whatever the clinical response. We identified a particular taxonomic node before anti-TNF-α treatment that can predict the clinical response as a biomarker, with a higher proportion of Burkholderiales order in future responder patients. This study suggests a cross-influence between anti-TNF-α treatment and intestinal microbiota. If its results are confirmed on larger groups of patients, it may pave the way to the development of predictive tests suitable for clinical practices