Intestinal Microbiota Is Altered in Patients with Gastric Cancer from Shanxi Province, China

  • Yu-feng Qi
  • Jun-ning Sun
  • Lai-feng Ren
  • Xue-ling Cao
  • Jian-hong Dong
  • Kai Tao
  • Xue-mei Guan
  • Ya-ni Cui
  • Wen SuEmail author
Original Article



Many diseases have been associated with intestinal microbial dysbiosis. Host–microbial interactions regulate immune function, which influences the development of gastric cancer.


The aims were to investigate the characteristics of intestinal microbiota composition in gastric cancer patients and correlations between the intestinal microbiota and cellular immunity.


Fecal samples were collected from 116 gastric cancer patients and 88 healthy controls from Shanxi Province, China. The intestinal microbiota was investigated by 16S rRNA gene sequencing. Peripheral blood samples were also collected from the 66 gastric cancer patients and 46 healthy controls. The populations of peripheral T lymphocyte subpopulations and NK cells were analyzed by flow cytometry.


The intestinal microbiota in gastric cancer patients was characterized by increased species richness, decreased butyrate-producing bacteria, and the enrichment of other symbiotic bacteria, especially Lactobacillus, Escherichia, and Klebsiella. Lactobacillus and Lachnospira were key species in the network of gastric cancer-associated bacterial genera. The combination of the genera Lachnospira, Lactobacillus, Streptococcus, Veillonella, and Tyzzerella_3 showed good performance in distinguishing gastric cancer patients from healthy controls. There was no significant difference in enterotype distribution between healthy controls and gastric cancer patients. The percentage of CD3+ T cells was positively correlated with the abundance of Lactobacillus and Streptococcus, and CD3+ T cells, CD4+ T cells, and NK cells were associated with Lachnospiraceae taxa.


Our study revealed a dysbiotic intestinal microbiota in gastric cancer patients. The abundance of some intestinal bacterial genera was correlated with the population of peripheral immune cells.


Cellular immunity Gastric cancer Intestinal microbiota Shanxi Province 



This study was funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Numbers: 81272696) and the Special Foundation for Talents of Shanxi Province of China (Grant Numbers: 201705D211021). We thank AJE ( for its linguistic assistance during the preparation of this manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

All authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Supplementary material

10620_2018_5411_MOESM1_ESM.tif (3.3 mb)
Supplementary Figure 1. Rarefaction curves of the number of OTUs versus the number of reads. The x-axis shows the number of OTUs; the y-axis shows the number of reads sampled randomly. HC, healthy control group; GC, gastric cancer group, OTUs, operational taxonomic units (TIFF 3379 kb)
10620_2018_5411_MOESM2_ESM.tif (893 kb)
Supplementary Figure 2. The plots of the number of total OTUs (A) and the number of shared OTUs (B) versus the number of samples. HC, healthy control group; GC, gastric cancer group (TIFF 892 kb)
10620_2018_5411_MOESM3_ESM.tif (4 mb)
Supplementary Figure 3. Comparison of intestinal microbiota composition between healthy controls and gastric cancer patients in the sex-age-matched subset. Sob index (A) and Shannon index (B) at the OTU level in HC and GC. Principal coordinate analysis (PCoA) plots and analysis of similarity (ANOSIM) for (C) unweighted and (D) weighted UniFrac distances at the OTU level. (E) The most differentially abundant taxa between HC and GC by linear discriminant analysis (LDA) effect size (LEfSe) analysis. HC, healthy control group; GC, gastric cancer group (TIFF 4123 kb)
10620_2018_5411_MOESM4_ESM.tif (2.9 mb)
Supplementary Figure 4. The top 30 differentially abundant genera of bacteria between HC and GC by Wilcoxon rank-sum test. The left panel shows the average relative abundance of bacterial genera in both groups. The right panel shows 95% confidence intervals and P values. HC, healthy control group; GC, gastric cancer group (TIFF 2955 kb)
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Second Clinical Medical CollegeShanxi Medical UniversityTaiyuanChina
  2. 2.Immunology DepartmentShanxi Cancer HospitalTaiyuanChina
  3. 3.Department of Health Examination CenterShanxi Cancer HospitalTaiyuanChina
  4. 4.Center of Minimally Invasive Gastrointestinal SurgeryShanxi Cancer HospitalTaiyuanChina

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