Evolution of Oropharyngeal and Rectal Microbiota After Severe Traumatic Brain Injury

  • End date
    Apr 5, 2023
  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    Assistance Publique - Hôpitaux de Paris
Updated on 5 December 2021
traumatic brain injury
severe traumatic brain injury
acute brain injuries
Accepts healthy volunteers


Modifications of the human gut microbiota have been associated with different pathological conditions such as obesity, inflammatory bowel diseases and neurodegenerative diseases. Recently the " Brain-Gut Axis ", a bidirectional communication axis between brain and gut, has been described. In recent animal studies, an acute brain injury was associated with rapid modifications of the gut microbiota.

In humans, traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a leading cause of death and disability. The patterns of gut and oropharyngeal microbiota following TBI are unknown. The primary purpose of this study is to characterize gut and oropharyngeal microbiota of patients with severe TBI.


Study Protocol :

Observational prospective cohort study.


Patients admitted to the ICU for severe trauma will be included. Two groups of patients with severe trauma will be studied:

  1. Patients with isolated severe traumatic brain injury (TBI): TBI with initial Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) 8 and AISextrahead score 3
  2. Patients with severe trauma without TBI (AISextrahead score > 3)

A group of healthy individuals will serve as a control population.

Expected total enrollment 20 patients in each group, and 10 healthy controls.

Patient data collection

For each patient, the following data will be collected:

  • Demographic data: age, sex, height, weight, ICU admission date, simplified acute physiology score II (SAPS II), injury severity score (ISS), abbreviated injury scale (AIS) at ICU admission.
  • Trauma-related data: number and type of trauma-related organ injuries, initial GCS, presence of mydriasis at initial management.
  • Factors with potential impact on microbiota: antimicrobial therapy, nutrition type, medications (proton pump inhibitors, opioids, sedations, catecholamines, steroids), surgical procedure during ICU stay.
  • Evolution: multidrug resistant bacteria acquisition during ICU stay, ICU acquired-infections. Mechanical ventilation duration, extrarenal epuration, ICU length of stay, neurological outcome evaluated by disability rating scale (DRS-F) at ICU discharge and at 90 days post trauma, death at ICU discharge and 90 days.

Sample collection

Oropharyngeal and rectal swabs will be performed for each patient within the first 24 hours after ICU admission (day 0), then 48 hours (day 2) and 7 days (day 7) after ICU admission and weekly thereafter until ICU discharge. Rectal and oropharyngeal swabs will be performed by trained paramedical staff using sterile swabs with transport medium ESwab (Becton, Dickinson and Company, New Jersey, USA). Swabs will be stored at -80C until DNA extraction.

DNA extraction

DNA extraction will be performed using QIAamp PowerFecal Pro DNA kit (Qiagen, Courtaboeuf, France) for rectal swabs and Extracta DNA Prep kit (Quanta Biosciences, Beverly, USA) for oropharyngeal swabs. DNA will be quantified by Quantit dsDNA HighSensitivity Assay Kit (Fisher Scientific).

16S rRNA amplification and sequencing

V3 and V4 regions of bacterial 16S rRNA gene sequences will be amplified by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) with universal primers (TCGTCGGCAGCGTCAGATGTGTATAAGAGACAGCCTACGGGNGGCWGCAG and GTCTCGTGGGCTCGGAGATGTGTATAAGAGACAGGACTACHVGGGTATCTAATCC), following the Illumina MiSeq System protocol (Illumina). Amplicons will be purified and then sequenced using MiSeq sequencing system ((Illumina).

Sequences processing

Sequences processing and operational taxonomic unit (OTU) clustering will be performed using SHAMAN software (SHiny Application for Metagenomic ANalysis) based on R software (package DESeq2), provided by Pasteur Institute. Taxonomic classification will be performed using SILVA database reference.

Statistical analysis

Statistical analysis will be performed using SHAMAN software (SHiny Application for Metagenomic ANalysis). Bacterial phyla, families and genera repartition will be analyzed, and relative abundance of bacterial genera will be compared between the different populations. Alpha-diversity will be analyzed using different parameters (Shannon index, Simpson's diversity index), as well as beta-diversity (principal component analysis).

The different populations of patients and healthy volunteers will be compared, and the evolution of microbiota along time will be studied.

Condition Polytrauma, Wounds, Trauma, Traumatic Brain Injury, Brain Injury, Multiple injuries, traumatic brain injury (tbi), multiple wounds, multiple trauma, multiple wound, Brain Injuries, Traumatic
Treatment Rectal swab, Oropharyngeal swab, Disability rating scale (DRS-F)
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT03965611
SponsorAssistance Publique - Hôpitaux de Paris
Last Modified on5 December 2021


Yes No Not Sure

Inclusion Criteria

Admission to Bictre Hospital Trauma Center for severe trauma with
either isolated severe traumatic brain injury (TBI): TBI with initial Glasgow
Coma Scale (GCS) 8 and AISextrahead score 3; either severe trauma without TBI
(AISextrahead score > 3)
Estimated ICU length of stay 48 hours or more

Exclusion Criteria

Antimicrobial therapy within the previous 3 months
Long-term corticosteroids use
Active cancer
Institutionalized patient
Gastro-intestinal perforation or emergency gastro-intestinal surgery following trauma
Withdrawal of consent
Patient under guardianship
Pregnant or breastfeeding women
Clear my responses

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