The gut microbiome of Mexican children affected by obesity

Otoniel Maya-Lucas, Selvasankar Murugesan, Khemlal Nirmalkar, Luis David Alcaraz, Carlos Hoyo-Vadillo, María Luisa Pizano-Zárate, Jaime García-Mena

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)


Obesity is a metabolic disorder and global health issue. In Mexico 34.4% of children between 5 and 11 years-old are overweight or obese. Here we address this issue studying the gut microbiome in a sample of Mexican children affected by obesity. We performed metagenomic shotgun-sequencing of DNA isolated from fecal samples from a cohort of normal weight and obese Mexican children using Illumina platform with HiSeq 2500. We also examined their metabolic factors and fecal short-chain fatty acids concentration. The results show that a remarkable dysbiosis of bacteria, archaea and viruses was not observed in the obese children group compared to the normal weight group; however, the archaeal community exhibited an increase of unclassified Methanobrevibacter spp. in obese children. The bacterial communities of all participants were clustered into three different enterotypes. Most normal weight children have a gut bacterial community dominated by Ruminococcus spp. (Enterotype 3), while most obese children had a community dominated by Prevotella spp. (Enterotype 2). On the other hand, changes in the gut microbiome were correlated with clinical metadata and could be used to stratify individuals based on their phenotype. The species Megamonas spp. were over-represented in obese children, whereas members of the family Oscillospiraceae were depleted in the same individuals and negatively correlated with levels of serum cholesterol. A microbiome comparative metabolic pathway analysis showed that two KEGG pathway modules of glycolysis, Glycolysis I (from Glucose 6-Phosphate), and Glycolysis II (from Fructose 6-Phosphate) were significantly overrepresented in normal weight children. Our results establish specific alterations in the gut microbiome of Mexican children affected of obesity, along with clinical alterations, providing information on the microbiome composition that may be useful for prognosis, diagnosis, and treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-23
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2019



  • Cholesterol
  • Gut microbiome
  • High-throughput sequencing
  • Mexican children
  • Obesity
  • Triglycerides

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Infectious Diseases

Cite this

Maya-Lucas, O., Murugesan, S., Nirmalkar, K., Alcaraz, L. D., Hoyo-Vadillo, C., Pizano-Zárate, M. L., & García-Mena, J. (2019). The gut microbiome of Mexican children affected by obesity. Anaerobe, 55, 11-23.