The role of gut microbiome in prevention, diagnosis and treatment of gestational diabetes mellitus

J Obstet Gynaecol, 2021 Oct 25;1-7. doi: 10.1080/01443615.2021.1959534. Online ahead of print.

Ermioni Tsarna, Panagiotis Christopoulos

Abstract: Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is a common metabolic disease associated with maternal and foetal complications; gut microbiome might participate in GDM pathogenesis. Possible biological links include short chain fatty acids, incretin hormones, bile acids homeostasis and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma deficiency. Gut microbiome differs in patients with GDM even in early pregnancy, but no differences are observed five years postpartum. Patients have enriched Verrucomicrobia phylum, Christensenellaceae and Lachnospiraceae families, Haemophilus, Prevotella, Actinomyces, Collinsella and Ruminococcus genera during pregnancy. Clostridiales order, Alistipes, Faecalibacterium, Blautia, Eubacterium and Roseburia genera are depleted. However, there is great heterogeneity in the reviewed studies and scientific data on the use of gut microbiome characteristics and related biomarkers in GDM risk stratification and diagnosis are scarce. Probiotics and synbiotics have been tested for prevention and treatment for GDM with limited efficacy. Future studies should explore the effect of probiotics administration at first trimester of pregnancy and their value as adjuvant therapy.

Keywords: GDM; Gestational diabetes; gut microbiome; probiotics; synbiotics.