Giuseppe Ferrandino at BBCon 2023

Microbiome Extended Session: Gut bacteria Phenotyping Using Dynamic Breath Analysis.

00:00 ‘Gut Microbiota Profiling Via Dynamic Breath Analysis’ presented by Dr Giuseppe Ferrandino at Owlstone Medical.
20:10 Question and Answer Session


Talk Abstract:

Gut microbiota dysbiosis results in overproduction of metabolites that exacerbate certain chronicdiseases. For example, ethanol and 2-3-butanediol, produced by carbohydrate fermentation, were found associatedwith non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). Similarly, trimethylamine, produced from choline, is further metabolized in the liver to trimethylamine-N-oxide, a metabolite found associated with NASH severity and
that exacerbatecardiovascular diseases. We explored the feasibility of a novel approach to measure gut bacteria metabolites, whichcan be applied to assess the extent of gut bacteria metabolism in diseases populations.

A total of 8 healthy subjects were recruited with age ≥ 18 years and body weight ≥ 50 Kg. Subjects wereinstructed to fast overnight and to not drink alcoholic beverages the day before the experiments. Breath samples werecollected before, and up to 90 minutes after ingestion of 75g of glucose with a time resolution of 5 minutes.Compounds of interest were measured using SIFT-MS with direct sampling. Results were expressed as part per billion (PPB v/v) as function of time post glucose ingestion.

Ambient measurements showed that all the investigated compounds were absent before and afterconducting the experiment. Median (M) and interquartile range (IQR) baselines levels (before glucose administration)of ethanol, propanoic acid, and acetoin
(an intermediate of the 2-3-butanediol fermentation), were respectively 99.4[71.6-182.4], 13.3 [10-16.2], 3.2 [2.7, 4.2] PPB (Fig.1A). Post glucose ingestion we observed spikes of these compoundsin breath of up to respectively 8629, 153, and 20 PPB (Fig. 1B). Additional diseases associated compounds, unrelated toglucose ingestion, were also detected, such as trimethylamine (M: 42.3, IQR: 33.6-54.3 PPB)
(Fig.1C), methanol (M: 443,IQR: 199-531.4 PPB) (Fig.1D), and methane (M: 26988, IQR:10100-76213 PPB) (Fig.1E).

Dynamic breath analysis can be used for the clinical characterization of gut bacteria metabolism inhealthy and disease populations to establish correlations between metabolites and disease severity and progression,as well as interaction of gut microbiota with response to therapeutic
interventions. This non-invasive method can replace the current need for blood collection allowing scaling to large cohort populations.


Speaker Biography:

Giuseppe Ferrandino holds a Bachelor’s degree in Biology, graduating with the remarkable distinction of 110/110 magna cum laude. His passion for research led him to pursue a Ph.D. in Italy, where he focused on studying secondary modifier genes in congenital hypothyroidism. He received also a training at the EMBL Heidelberg with a short-term fellowship award. His outstanding academic performance during his Ph.D. earned him valuable insights into the intricate mechanisms underlying this condition.
After completing his Ph.D., Giuseppe Ferrandino embarked on a postdoctoral journey at Yale School of Medicine in the United States. During his tenure, he conducted research on membrane transport and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in hypothyroidism. His expertise in this area resulted in the publication of five peer-reviewed articles, further expanding the scientific understanding of liver diseases.
Continuing his pursuit of scientific excellence, Giuseppe joined the Max Planck Institute in Dresden, Germany. His research at the institute focussed around two genes associated with the accumulation of fat in the liver. During this time, he gained expertise in state-of-the-art microscopy techniques, further enhancing his skill set in the field.
Currently, Giuseppe Ferrandino is utilizing his knowledge and expertise as part of
the hepatology program at Owltone Medical. In his role, he provides valuable scientific support with the objective of developing non-invasive tests for liver diseases. His dedication to advancing medical knowledge and improving patient care drives his work in this area.


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