Impact of Probiotic Supplements on Microbiome Diversity Following Antibiotic Treatment of Mice
Shifts in microbial populations of the intestinal tract have been associated with a multitude of nutritional, autoimmune, and infectious diseases. The limited diversity following antibiotic treatments creates a window for opportunistic pathogens, diarrhea, and inflammation as the microbiome repopulates. Depending on the antibiotics used, microbial diversity can take weeks to months to recover. To alleviate this loss of diversity in the intestinal microbiota, supplementation with probiotics has become increasingly popular. However, our understanding of the purported health benefits of these probiotic bacteria and their ability to shape the microbiome is significantly lacking. This study examined the impact of probiotics concurrent with antibiotic treatment or during the recovery phase following antibiotic treatment of mice. We found that probiotics did not appear to colonize the intestine themselves or shift the overall diversity of the intestinal microbiota. However, the probiotic supplementation did significantly change the types of bacteria which were present. In particular, during the recovery phase the probiotic caused a suppression of Enterobacteriaceae outgrowth (Shigella and Escherichia) while promoting a blooming of Firmicutes, particularly from the Anaerotruncus genus. These results indicate that probiotics have a significant capacity to remodel the microbiome of an individual recovering from antibiotic therapy.
Grazul, Hannah; Kanda, Leann; and Gondek, David, "Impact of Probiotic Supplements on Microbiome Diversity Following Antibiotic Treatment of Mice" (2016). Biology Faculty Publications and Presentations. 35.