Copyright ©The Author(s) 2021. Published by Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.
World J Gastroenterol. Apr 7, 2021; 27(13): 1341-1353
Published online Apr 7, 2021. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v27.i13.1341
Global research trends in the microbiome related to irritable bowel syndrome: A bibliometric and visualized study
Sa'ed H Zyoud, Simon Smale, W Stephen Waring, Waleed Sweileh, Samah W Al-Jabi
Sa'ed H Zyoud, Poison Control and Drug Information Center (PCDIC), College of Medicine and Health Sciences, An-Najah National University, Nablus 44839, West Bank, Palestine
Sa'ed H Zyoud, Samah W Al-Jabi, Department of Clinical and Community Pharmacy, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, An-Najah National University, Nablus 44839, West Bank, Palestine
Sa'ed H Zyoud, Department of Clinical Research Centre, An-Najah National University Hospital, Nablus 44839, West Bank, Palestine
Simon Smale, Department of Gastroenterology, York Hospital, York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, York YO31 8HE, United Kingdom
W Stephen Waring, Acute Medical Unit, York Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, York YO31 8HE, United Kingdom
Waleed Sweileh, Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, An-Najah National University, Nablus 44839, West Bank, Palestine
Author contributions: Zyoud SH designed the study, collected the data, analyzed the data, made major contributions to the manuscript’s existing literature search and interpretation, and drafted the manuscript; Al-Jabi SW, and Sweileh W participated in the study design; Smale S and Waring WS contributed towards the conception, wrote part of the article; Al-Jabi SW, Sweileh W, Smale S and Waring WS were involved in interpretation of the data, and made revisions to the initial draft; all authors provided critical review and approved the final manuscript before submission.
Conflict-of-interest statement: The authors have no financial disclosures or conflicts of interest to declare.
PRISMA 2009 Checklist statement: The authors have read the PRISMA 2009 Checklist, and the manuscript was prepared and revised according to the PRISMA 2009 Checklist.
Open-Access: This article is an open-access article that was selected by an in-house editor and fully peer-reviewed by external reviewers. It is distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:
Corresponding author: Sa'ed H Zyoud, PhD, Associate Professor, Director, Poison Control and Drug Information Center (PCDIC), College of Medicine and Health Sciences, An-Najah National University, Academic Street, Nablus 44839, West Bank, Palestine.
Received: November 18, 2020
Peer-review started: November 18, 2020
First decision: December 27, 2020
Revised: January 11, 2021
Accepted: March 16, 2021
Article in press: March 16, 2021
Published online: April 7, 2021
Research background

The ability of specific bacteria to boost the development and the effects of proinflammatory cytokines can result in low-grade inflammation seen in a proportion of patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Research motivation

The current bibliometric analysis plays an important role for researchers interested in the relationship between the microbiome and IBS. It provides a simple reference guide for interdisciplinary researchers to learn how scientific experts have examined this area in previous years.

Research objectives

This study aimed to carry out a bibliometric review of the IBS and the microbiome literature to explain the growth of this field and assist the identification of unique focus areas that may be important for future research.

Research methods

The information used in our bibliometric research was derived from the Scopus database. Terms related to IBS and the microbiome were searched in titles or abstracts during the period of 2000–2019. For data visualization, VOSviewer software was used.

Research results

Since 2013, the number of publications on gut microbiota in IBS has continuously increased. This result indicates that the future outlook remains optimistic for treatments targeting the gut microbiota in IBS.

Research conclusions

This is the first study to analyze and measure the global research productivity of IBS and microbiome research to provide a holistic view of this evolving subject and explore future research directions. It is evident that, due to the growing understanding of the role of the gut microbiota, research productivity in this area has steadily increased. Currently, the key hot topics are the gut–brain axis related to IBS, clinical trials related to IBS and the microbiome, drug-mediated modulation of the gut microbiome, and the role of the altered composition of the intestinal microbiome in the prevention of IBS.

Research perspectives

Our results indicate that the future outlook for IBS therapies targeting the intestinal microbiota remains promising.