Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) influences the abundance, diversity, and structure of the dominant gut microbiota and this correlates with the immune status of the patient, according to a new study published in Frontiers in Immunology

These findings suggest that “the microecology-immune axis may be involved in regulating lymphoma development,” according to the authors of the study. 

In the future, regulating the gut microbiota could improve immune function, which in turn could improve the response to treatment and survival in patients with DLBCL.

Read more about the prognosis of DLBCL

The gut microbiota of patients with DLBCL is different than that of healthy people. However, it is not known whether these differences affect immunity and the clinical features of the disease.

To explore possible links between the gut microbiota and the clinical characteristics and humoral and immune cell status of patients with DLBCL, a team of researchers from China analyzed stool samples from 35 untreated patients with DLBCL and 20 healthy volunteers. 

The results showed that there was no significant difference in the number of microorganism species living in the guts of patients with DLBCL and healthy controls. However, the diversity of the species was significantly reduced in patients with DLBCL, with the phylum Proteobacteria being dominant and the phylum Bacteroidetes being significantly decreased. 

The researchers also identified gut microbiota characteristics associated with the clinical features of the disease including tumor load, risk stratification, and cell origin. For example, they found that the phylum Firmicutes was positively correlated with absolute lymphocyte values, while the genus Prevotella was negatively correlated with absolute lymphocyte values, T cell counts, and CD4 cell counts. Finally, the genus Pyramidobacter and the family Peptostreptococcaceae were negatively correlated with the levels of immunoglobulin A.

“Dominant gut microbiota, abundance, diversity, and structure in DLBCL were influenced by the disease” and “correlated with patient immune status,” the researchers concluded.


Lin Z, Mao D, Jin C, et al. The gut microbiota correlate with the disease characteristics and immune status of patients with untreated diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. Front Immunol. 2023;14:1105293. doi:10.3389/fimmu.2023.1105293