The aim of this study is to investigate the dysbiosis characteristics of gut microbiota in patients with cerebral infarction (CI) and its clinical implications. Stool samples were collected from 79 CI patients and 98 healthy controls and subjected to 16S rRNA sequencing to identify stool microbes. Altered compositions and functions of gut microbiota in CI and its correlation with clinical features were investigated. Random forest and receiver operating characteristic analysis were used to develop a diagnostic model. Microbiota diversity and structure between CI patients and healthy controls were overall similar. However, butyrate-producing bacteria (BPB) were significantly reduced in CI patients, while lactic acid bacteria (LAB) were increased. Genetically, BPB-related functional genes were reduced in CI patients, whereas LAB-related genes were enhanced. The interbacterial correlations among BPB in CI patients were less prominent than those in healthy controls. Clinically, BPB was negatively associated with the National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS), while LAB was positively correlated with NIHSS. Both BPB and LAB played leading roles in the diagnostic model based on 47 bacteria. The abundance and functions of BPB in CI patients were significantly decreased, while LAB were increased. Both BPB and LAB displayed promising potential in the assessment and diagnosis of CI.
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