Human Intestinal Microbial Ecology and Its Relationship Autism

Project: Research project

Project Details


Human Intestinal Microbial Ecology and Its Relationship Autism Human Intestinal Microbial Ecology and Its Relationship Autism The proposed research will characterize the microflora in children with autism vs. typical controls using high-throughput sequencing of microbial 16S rDNA sequences produced by 454 pyrosequencers. We plan to enroll 20 healthy children, 10 autistic children that present gastrointestinal problems, and 10 autistic children that do not present gastrointestinal problems. We will extract DNA from feces samples and evaluate the microbial ecology using pyrosequencing. Our target is to obtain 25,000 sequences per child. Additionally, we will use real time PCR to quantify clostridia species [8] and general bacteria [14] in order to assess the quantities of clostridia species and also their proportion with respect to other bacteria present in the human gut. The major purpose of this proposal is to quantify the contribution of specific microorganisms in autism gastrointestinal-related problems and to identify potential microorganisms that can be targeted for treatment. In addition to our assessments of the microflora, we will also assess the gastrointestinal symptoms of the children, to determine if there is a correlation between levels of beneficial and/or pathogenic flora and GI problems. The assessment will be done with the Gastro-Intestinal Severity index (GIS), which assesses six different symptoms on a 3-point scale. Similarly, we will also assess the severity of autistic symptoms using the ADOS, Pervasive Developmental Disorder Behavior Inventory (PDD-BI) and the Autism Treatment Evaluation Checklist (ATEC)), to determine if there are correlations of GI flora with the symptoms of autism.I
Effective start/end date3/24/103/24/12


  • Autism Research Institute: $28,960.00


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