Cindy Germaine Boer
Research title: OSTEOARTHRITIS A GUT FEELING? THE GUT MICROBIOME AS A NOVEL THERAPEUTIC TARGET FOR OSTHEOARTHRITIS PAIN
Osteoarthritis (OA) affects almost 10% of the population and is the most prevalent cause of chronic joint pain. However, currently no curative therapies exist. Recently, the gastrointestinal microbiome composition was robustly associated with osteoarthritis-related joint pain and joint inflammation. Here we here propose to use an ongoing Randomized Clinical Trial(RCT) aimed at lifestyle intervention, to elucidate if the gastrointestinal microbiome has a causal relationship with knee joint pain and inflammation. Main outcomes are weight loss, joint pain, joint structure and microbiome composition. We will determine the gastrointestinal microbiome composition using 16s rRNA sequencing on multiple time points in the RCT and use dynamic Bayesian networks to create causal interference networks between the microbiome and knee pain and inflammation. In addition, we will perform mediation analysis to see if the relationship of the microbiome on joint pain and inflammation is mediated by obesity.