Background We previously showed that in this early rheumatoid arthritis (ERA) cohort with a mean disease duration of <6 months, a clinically significant loss of clinical attachment loss as surrogate of alveolar bone loss is detectable compared with a matched healthy control cohort (1). Evidence is accumulating that distinct pathogens residing in reservoirs such as the oral cavity, the lung or the gut may play a role in driving the pathogenesis of RA (2–3).
Objectives To characterize the oral microbiome associated with ERA.
Methods 16S amplicon sequencing was used to analyze 88 samples of the supragingival and subgingival microbiome of 22 patients with ERA and 22 matched healthy controls. Oral and periodontal status, clinical activity of ERA and periodontitis, and socio-demographic parameters were used as explanatory variables in the next generation DNA sequencing analysis.
Results Overall, a total of 4.702.161 16S RNA high-quality sequences were yielded. Using a distance-based similarity of >97% for species-level operational taxonomic unit (OTU) assignment, a total of 1054 OTUs were identified (Fig 1). The oral microbiota was equally rich and diverse in ERA and control group. Subgingivally, Prevotella oris, Prevotella oralis, Prevotella nigrescens, Alloprevotella rava and Alloprevotella tannerae were associated with early RA independent of severity of periodontitis.
Conclusions Prevotella and Alloprevotella species were enriched in patients with early RA independent of severity of periodontitis. Further studies are needed to test a causal relationship of these species with onset and/or disease progression of RA.
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Acknowledgements Wolff and Boutin contributed equally.
Disclosure of Interest None declared