Background Interest in the interplay between host genetics and the gut microbiome in complex human diseases is increasing, with prior evidence mainly being derived from animal models. In addition, the shared and distinct microbiome features among complex human diseases remain largely unclear.
Results This analysis was based on a Chinese population with 1,475 participants. We estimated the SNP-based heritability, which suggested that Desulfovibrionaceae and Odoribacter had significant heritability estimates (0.456 and 0.476, respectively). We performed a microbiome genome-wide association study to identify host genetic variants associated with the gut microbiome. We then conducted bidirectional Mendelian randomization analyses to examine the potential causal associations between the gut microbiome and complex human diseases. We found that Saccharibacteria could potentially decrease the concentration of serum creatinine and increase the estimated glomerular filtration rate. On the other hand, atrial fibrillation, chronic kidney disease and prostate cancer, as predicted by host genetics, had potential causal effects on the abundance of some specific gut microbiota. For example, atrial fibrillation increased the abundance of Burkholderiales and Alcaligenaceae and decreased the abundance of Lachnobacterium, Bacteroides coprophilus, Barnesiellaceae, an undefined genus in the family Veillonellaceae and Mitsuokella. Further disease-microbiome feature analysis suggested that systemic lupus erythematosus and chronic myeloid leukaemia shared common gut microbiome features.
Conclusions These results suggest that different complex human diseases share common and distinct gut microbiome features, which may help reshape our understanding of disease aetiology in humans.