Intestinal microbiome composition and its relation to joint pain and inflammation

Macrophage-mediated inflammation is thought to have a causal role in osteoarthritis-related pain and severity, and has been suggested to be triggered by endotoxins produced by the gastrointestinal microbiome. Here we investigate the relationship between joint pain and the gastrointestinal microbiome composition, and osteoarthritis-related knee pain in the Rotterdam Study; a large population based cohort study. We show that abundance of Streptococcus species is associated with increased knee pain, which we validate by absolute quantification of Streptococcus species. In addition, we replicate these results in 867 Caucasian adults of the Lifelines-DEEP study. Finally we show evidence that this association is driven by local inflammation in the knee joint. Our results indicate the microbiome is a possible therapeutic target for osteoarthritis-related knee pain.

year of publication



  • Nature Communications


  • Boer, CG
  • Radjabzadeh, D
  • Kurilshikov, A
  • Fu, J
  • Zhernakova, A
  • van Meurs, JBJ
  • et al.

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