Exploring the Gut Microbiome in Myasthenia Gravis

Angel Yun Kuan Thye, Jodi Woan Fei Law, Loh Teng Hern Tan, Sivakumar Thurairajasingam, Kok Gan Chan, Vengadesh Letchumanan, Learn Han Lee

Research output: Journal PublicationReview articlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


The human gut microbiota is vital for maintaining human health in terms of immune system homeostasis. Perturbations in the composition and function of microbiota have been associated with several autoimmune disorders, including myasthenia gravis (MG), a neuromuscular condition associated with varying weakness and rapid fatigue of the skeletal muscles triggered by the host’s antibodies against the acetylcholine receptor (AChR) in the postsynaptic muscle membrane at the neuromuscular junction (NMJ). It is hypothesized that perturbation of the gut microbiota is associated with the pathogenesis of MG. The gut microbiota community profiles are usually generated using 16S rRNA gene sequencing. Compared to healthy individuals, MG participants had an altered gut microbiota’s relative abundance of bacterial taxa, particularly with a drop in Clostridium. The microbial diversity related to MG severity and the overall fecal short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) were lower in MG subjects. Changes were also found in terms of serum biomarkers and fecal metabolites. A link was found between the bacterial Operational Taxonomic Unit (OTU), some metabolite biomarkers, and MG’s clinical symptoms. There were also variations in microbial and metabolic markers, which, in combination, could be used as an MG diagnostic tool, and interventions via fecal microbiota transplant (FMT) could affect MG development. Probiotics may influence MG by restoring the gut microbiome imbalance, aiding the prevention of MG, and lowering the risk of gut inflammation by normalizing serum biomarkers. Hence, this review will discuss how alterations of gut microbiome composition and function relate to MG and the benefits of gut modulation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1647
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • acetylcholine
  • autoimmune
  • gut microbiota
  • myasthenia gravis
  • probiotics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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