2020 Volume 67 Issue 1 Pages 105-111
Despite the advances in assisted reproductive technology, approximately 8–12% of the individuals worldwide who are willing to conceive are unable to do so. Fertility depends on a receptive state of the endometrium and hormonal adaptations as well as the immune system. Local and systemic immunities are greatly influenced by the microbiota. The aim of the present study was to compare the gut microbiota in female patients with that in infertility with fertile control subjects and to evaluate the effect of prebiotic partially hydrolyzed guar gum supplementation on gut dysbiosis and the outcome of pregnancy in patients treated with assisted reproductive technology. Dietary fiber can reconstitute the host intestinal microbiota and modify the immune function; however, clinical data regarding the effect of dietary fiber treatment on the success of assisted reproductive technology is lacking. To investigate the gut microbiota in fertile and infertile females, we conducted 16S metagenomic analysis of fecal samples. In total 18 fertile female subjects and 18 patients with infertility matched by age were recruited, and fecal samples were obtained to analyze the gut microbiome using 16S rRNA V3–V4 sequencing. The unweighted and weighted principal coordinate analyses showed a trend indicating microbial structural differences in β-diversity between these two groups. The abundance of the phylum Verrucomicrobia was higher in patients with infertility. At the genus level, a decrease in the abundance of the genera Stenotrophomonas, Streptococcus, and Roseburia and an increase in the abundance of the genera Unclassified [Barnesiellaceae] and Phascolarctobacterium was observed in patients with infertility. Twelve patients agreed to receive the combined therapy comprising embryo transfer by assisted reproductive technology and oral supplementation with partially hydrolyzed guar gum. The success of pregnancy by this combined therapy was 58.3% (7/12), and the failure was 41.7% (5/12). Predictive factors for pregnancy before treatment were characterized by a decrease in the abundance of Paraprevotella and Blautia and an increase in the abundance of Bifidobacterium. Predictive factors for pregnancy before treatment were characterized by a decrease in the abundance of Paraprevotella and Blautia and an increase tendency in the abundance of Bifidobacterium. In conclusion, the present study showed differences in the abundance of gut microbiota between fertile and infertile groups; moreover, partially hydrolyzed guar gum supplementation helped improve gut dysbiosis and the success of pregnancy in females with infertility.