Microbial patterns in patients with histamine intolerance
Histamine intolerance represents a controversially discussed disorder. Besides an impaired degradation of orally supplied histamine due to diamine oxidase (DAO) deficiency, a deranged gut flora may also contribute to elevated histamine levels. Our aim was to determine the intestinal bacterial composition in patients with proven histamine intolerance in comparison to other food intolerances and healthy controls. A total of 64 participants were included in the study, encompassing 8 patients with histamine intolerance (HIT), 25 with food hypersensitivity (FH), 21 with food allergy and 10 healthy controls (HC). All participants underwent blood testing for total and food-specific immunoglobulin E, plasma histamine and DAO serum activity. Stool samples were used to analyze stool histamine and zonulin levels and bacterial composition by 16s rRNA sequencing. No significant differences in stool histamine levels were observed, but HIT patients showed elevated levels of stool zonulin. Microbiota analysis revealed increased levels of Proteobacteria (5.4%) and a significantly reduced alpha-diversity in the HIT group (P = 0.019). On family level, HC showed a significantly higher abundance of Bifidobacteriaceae compared to other study groups (P = 0.005), with lowest levels in the HIT group (P = 0.036). Also significantly reduced abundances of the genera Butyricimonas (P = 0.026) and Hespellia (P = 0.025) were observed in the HIT patients, whereas Roseburia were significantly elevated (P = 0.021). We concluded that the altered occurrence of Proteobacteria and Bifidobacteriaceae, reduced alpha-diversity as well as elevated stool zonulin levels suggest a dysbiosis and intestinal barrier dysfunction in histamine intolerant patients, which in turn may play an important role in driving disease pathogenesis.