Multivariate Analysis of Fecal Metabolites from Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Gastrointestinal Symptoms

Fecal microbiota transplant (FMT) holds significant promise for patients with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms. Prior work has demonstrated that plasma metabolite profiles of children with ASD become more similar to those of their typically developing (TD) peers following this treatment.  This work measures the concentration of 669 biochemical compounds in feces of a cohort of 18 ASD and 20 TD children using ultrahigh performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectroscopy. Subsequent measurements were taken from the ASD cohort over the course of 10-week Microbiota Transfer Therapy (MTT) and 8 weeks after completion of this treatment. 

Univariate and multivariate statistical analysis techniques were used to characterize differences in metabolites before, during, and after treatment. Using Fisher Discriminant Analysis (FDA), it was possible to attain multivariate metabolite models capable of achieving a sensitivity of 94% and specificity of 95% after cross-validation. Observations made following MTT indicate that the fecal metabolite profiles become more like those of the TD cohort. There was an 82-88% decrease in the median difference of the ASD and TD group for the panel metabolites, and among the top 50 most discriminating individual metabolites, 96% report more comparable values following treatment. Thus, these findings are similar, although less pronounced, as those determined using plasma metabolites.

Reference

F. Qureshi, J.B. Adams, K. Hanagan, D.-W. Kang, R. Krajmalnik-Brown, and J. Hahn. "Multivariate Analysis of Fecal Metabolites from Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Gastrointestinal Symptoms"

Journal of Personalized Medicine 10, No. 4,  152 (2020)