2021 Volume 36 Issue 2
IgA nephropathy is one of the leading causes of chronic kidney disease in Japan. Since the origin and mechanisms by which IgA nephropathy develops currently remain unclear, a confirmed disease diagnosis is currently only possible by highly invasive renal biopsy. With the background of the salivary microbiome as a rich source of biomarkers for systemic diseases, we herein primarily aimed to investigate the salivary microbiome as a tool for the non-invasive diagnosis of IgA nephropathy. In a comparison of salivary microbiome profiles using 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing, significant differences were observed in microbial diversity and richness between IgA nephropathy patients and healthy controls. Furthermore, recent studies reported that patients with IgA nephropathy are more likely to develop inflammatory bowel diseases and that chronic inflammation of the tonsils triggered the recurrence of IgA nephropathy. Therefore, we compared the salivary microbiome of IgA nephropathy patients with chronic tonsillitis and ulcerative colitis patients. By combining the genera selected by the random forest algorithm, we were able to distinguish IgA nephropathy from healthy controls with an area under the curve (AUC) of 0.90, from the ulcerative colitis group with AUC of 0.88, and from the chronic tonsillitis group with AUC of 0.70. Additionally, the genus Neisseria was common among the selected genera that facilitated the separation of the IgA nephropathy group from healthy controls and the chronic tonsillitis group. The present results indicate the potential of the salivary microbiome as a biomarker for the non-invasive diagnosis of IgA nephropathy.