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Gut microbiota alterations in stable outpatients with schizophrenia: findings from a case–control study

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  12 December 2022

Błażej Misiak*
Department of Psychiatry, Division of Consultation Psychiatry and Neuroscience, Wroclaw Medical University, Wroclaw, Poland
Patryk Piotrowski
Department of Psychiatry, Division of Consultation Psychiatry and Neuroscience, Wroclaw Medical University, Wroclaw, Poland
Agnieszka Cyran
Department of Psychiatry, Division of Consultation Psychiatry and Neuroscience, Wroclaw Medical University, Wroclaw, Poland
Krzysztof Kowalski
Department of Psychiatry, Division of Consultation Psychiatry and Neuroscience, Wroclaw Medical University, Wroclaw, Poland
Jerzy Samochowiec
Department of Psychiatry, Pomeranian Medical University, Szczecin, Poland
Marcin Jabłoński
Department of Psychiatry, Pomeranian Medical University, Szczecin, Poland
Piotr Plichta
Department of Psychiatry, Pomeranian Medical University, Szczecin, Poland
Łukasz Łaczmański
Laboratory of Genomics & Bioinformatics, Institute of Immunology and Experimental Therapy, Polish Academy of Sciences, Wroclaw, Poland
Paulina Żebrowska
Laboratory of Genomics & Bioinformatics, Institute of Immunology and Experimental Therapy, Polish Academy of Sciences, Wroclaw, Poland
Dorota Kujawa
Laboratory of Genomics & Bioinformatics, Institute of Immunology and Experimental Therapy, Polish Academy of Sciences, Wroclaw, Poland
Igor Łoniewski
Department of Biochemical Sciences, Pomeranian Medical University, Szczecin, Poland Departmenrt of Human Nutrition and Metabolomics, Pomeranian Medical University, Szczecin, Poland
Mariusz Kaczmarczyk
Department of Clinical and Molecular Biochemistry, Pomeranian Medical University, Szczecin, Poland
Author for correspondence: Błażej Misiak, Email:



The pathogenesis of schizophrenia is multidimensional and intensively studied. The gut–brain axis disturbances might play a significant role in the development of schizophrenia.


We compared the gut microbiota of 53 individuals with schizophrenia and 58 healthy controls, using the 16S rRNA sequencing method. Individuals with schizophrenia were assessed using the following scales: the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale, the Calgary Depression Scale for Schizophrenia, the Social and Occupational Functioning Assessment Scale and the Repeatable Battery for the Assessment of Neuropsychological Status.


No significant between-group differences in α-diversity measures were observed. Increased abundance of Lactobacillales (order level), Bacilli (class level) and Actinobacteriota (phylum level) were found in individuals with schizophrenia regardless of potential confounding factors, and using two independent analytical approaches (the distance-based redundancy analysis and the generalised linear model analysis). Additionally, significant correlations between various bacterial taxa (the Bacteroidia class, the Actinobacteriota phylum, the Bacteroidota phylum, the Coriobacteriales order and the Coriobacteria class) and clinical manifestation (the severity of negative symptoms, performance of language abilities, social and occupational functioning) were observed.


The present study indicates that gut microbiota alterations are present in European patients with schizophrenia. The abundance of certain bacterial taxa might be associated with the severity of negative symptoms, cognitive performance and general functioning. Nonetheless, additional studies are needed before the translation of our results into clinical practice.

Original Article
© The Author(s), 2022. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of Scandinavian College of Neuropsychopharmacology

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