Date of Award

Spring 2022

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

Department

Biology; College of Arts & Sciences

First Advisor

John Hoffman

Abstract

In recent years, there has been an increase in the number of studies conducted on the complications of gastrointestinal (GI) comorbidities associated with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in children. Some of these GI issues include irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), diarrhea and constipation. The causes of these disorders are poorly understood. The dominant gut phyla are Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes, Actinobacteria, Proteobacteria, Fusobacteria and Verrucomicrobia. Research conducted on children with ASD compared with typical developing (TD) children showed higher ratios of Firmicutes/Bacteroidetes in the ASD group. Biflobacterium, Actinobacteria phyla, has been shown to be a good intestinal bacterium that may help with GI abnormalities. Previous studies conducted reported that children with ASD had altered gut microbiota profiles at the genus and phylum level. These abnormal alterations in the gut lead to a buildup of toxins causing intestinal permeability, leaky gut syndrome, contributing to the symptoms seen in ASD. This thesis analyzes results of potential interventions to alleviate GI and behavioral symptoms of ASD. A microbiota transfer therapy (MTT) open label clinical trial conducted an experiment with 18 children diagnosed with ASD and reported an 80% reduction in GI symptoms. A decrease in the abundance of Eubacterium coprostanoligenes, Firmicutes phyla, was seen after treatment. Another study, a randomized, double blinded controlled trial examined 8 children with ASD and found that an oral probiotic, Biflobacterium Infantis, in addition to a Bovine Colostrum Product (BCP) treatment improved behavioral and GI symptoms of ASD, although temporarily. However, the results of these experiments don’t have evidence of efficacy of the treatments long term and should be examined with caution in order to develop an intervention to improve ASD symptoms.

COinS
 

Recolonization of Microbiomes’ Influence on Autism Spectrum Disorder

In recent years, there has been an increase in the number of studies conducted on the complications of gastrointestinal (GI) comorbidities associated with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in children. Some of these GI issues include irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), diarrhea and constipation. The causes of these disorders are poorly understood. The dominant gut phyla are Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes, Actinobacteria, Proteobacteria, Fusobacteria and Verrucomicrobia. Research conducted on children with ASD compared with typical developing (TD) children showed higher ratios of Firmicutes/Bacteroidetes in the ASD group. Biflobacterium, Actinobacteria phyla, has been shown to be a good intestinal bacterium that may help with GI abnormalities. Previous studies conducted reported that children with ASD had altered gut microbiota profiles at the genus and phylum level. These abnormal alterations in the gut lead to a buildup of toxins causing intestinal permeability, leaky gut syndrome, contributing to the symptoms seen in ASD. This thesis analyzes results of potential interventions to alleviate GI and behavioral symptoms of ASD. A microbiota transfer therapy (MTT) open label clinical trial conducted an experiment with 18 children diagnosed with ASD and reported an 80% reduction in GI symptoms. A decrease in the abundance of Eubacterium coprostanoligenes, Firmicutes phyla, was seen after treatment. Another study, a randomized, double blinded controlled trial examined 8 children with ASD and found that an oral probiotic, Biflobacterium Infantis, in addition to a Bovine Colostrum Product (BCP) treatment improved behavioral and GI symptoms of ASD, although temporarily. However, the results of these experiments don’t have evidence of efficacy of the treatments long term and should be examined with caution in order to develop an intervention to improve ASD symptoms.