The important role of intestinal microbiota in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) has been recognized. Oral-gut microbiome axis is a crucial link in human health and disease, but few researches indicated the relationship between oral microorganisms and SLE. This study mainly explored the composition and changes of oral microorganisms in SLE patients with different stages, clinical manifestations and biomarkers.
Oral microbiota was detected by 16S ribosomal RNA gene sequencing from 20 SLE patients and 19 healthy controls (HCs). The evenness, diversity and composition of oral microbiota were analyzed. Moreover, receiver-operating characteristic analysis was conducted. Phylogenetic Investigation of Communities by Reconstruction of Unobserved States (PICRUSt) based on Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) database was used to investigate microbiota functions.
The oral microbiota of SLE patients was imbalanced and the diversity was decreased, but no difference was found between new-onset and treated SLE patients. Families Lactobacillaceae, Veillonellaceae and Moraxellaceae were enriched in SLE patients. Families like Corynebacteriaceae, Micrococcaceae, Defluviitaleaceae, Caulobacteraceae, Phyllobacteriaceae, Methylobacteriaceae, Hyphomicrobiaceae, Sphingomonadaceae, Halomonadaceae, Pseudomonadaceae, Xanthomonadaceae, etc. were decreased in SLE patients. After multiple testing adjustment, families Sphingomonadaceae, Halomonadaceae, and Xanthomonadaceae were significantly decreased in SLE patients. And area under the curve was 0.953 (95% confidence intervals 0.890-1.000) to distinguish SLE patients from HCs. There were differences in metabolic pathways between SLE and HCs (P = 0.025).
These findings collectively support that oral microbiota dysbiosis and aberrant metabolic pathways were observed in patients with SLE. Our findings may provide suggestive evidences for the diagnosis and treatment of SLE.

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