Gut Microbiome Alterations Associated with Diabetes in Mexican Americans in South Texas

Suet Ying Kwan, Caroline M. Sabotta, Aron Joon, Peng Wei, Lauren E. Petty, Jennifer E. Below, Xiaogang Wu, Jianhua Zhang, Robert R. Jenq, Ernest T. Hawk, Joseph B. McCormick, Susan P. Fisher-Hoch, Laura Beretta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Mexican Americans have a high prevalence of diabetes and burden of diabetes-related complications, highlighting the need for novel preventive strategies and noninvasive predictors of diabetes risk tailored to this population. Changes in the gut microbiome have the potential to predict diabetes. Here, we aimed to identify alterations in the gut microbiome associated with diabetes in the high-risk population of Mexican Americans in South Texas. Stool samples were collected from 216 subjects from the population-based Cameron County Hispanic Cohort. Among them, 75 had type 2 diabetes. Taxonomic and functional profiling of the stool samples were assessed by 16S and shotgun metagenomic sequencing, and the influence of genetic factors was explored. The gut microbiome of subjects with diabetes was enriched with proinflammatory Proteobacteria members (Enterobacteriaceae, Escherichia-Shigella) and depleted of butyrate-producing Clostridiales members (Faecalibacterium prausnitzii, Peptostreptococcaceae, and Clostridium sensu stricto 1). The accompanying metagenomic changes in subjects with diabetes suggested dysregulated amino acid metabolism, reduced galacturonate and glucuronate catabolism (correlating with Faecalibacterium prausnitzii abundance), and enriched heme biosynthesis (correlating with Enterobacteriaceae abundance). Polymorphism rs7129790 near MMP27 was strongly associated with high Proteobacteria abundance and was more frequent in this cohort and in individuals of Mexican ancestry than in Europeans. In conclusion, Mexican Americans in South Texas with diabetes display distinct gut microbiome and metagenomic signatures. These signatures may have utility in risk modeling and disease prevention in this high-risk population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2022


  • diabetes
  • diabetes
  • gut microbiome
  • health disparity
  • metagenome
  • Mexican American population

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Physiology
  • Biochemistry
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Computer Science Applications


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