Antibiotic treatment triggers gut dysbiosis and modulates metabolism in a chicken model of gastro-intestinal infection.

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PubMed ID: 30683093

Imagen Publicación

Le Roy CI, Woodward MJ, Ellis RJ, La Ragione RM, Claus SP

BMC Vet Res. Jan 2019. doi: 10.1186/s12917-018-1761-0

COMMENT: Antibiotic use is associated with a reduction of gut microbiota diversity. This study uses an interesting chicken infection model to understand host systemic metabolic and gut microbiota response to colonization of the digestive tract by a gastro-intestinal pathogen (Brachyspira pilosicoli).


This paper evaluates host systemic metabolic response to infection and antibiotic treatment using H-NMR-based metabolomics that allows a non-targeted evaluation of metabolic fluctuations occurring in biological systems. As the gut microbiota are inextricably linked to host’s metabolic responses, the composition of the caecal microbiota population was monitored in response to infection and Tiamulin™ treatment using 454 16S pyrosequencing of the V4-V5 hypervariable regions.

Main results

After Tiamulin™ treatment the class of Spirochaetes to which B. pilosicoli belongs was no longer detectable by 16S sequencing approaches. Yet, this bacterial class reappeared three weeks after the end of Tiamulin™ treatment.

As expected, the antibiotic dosing was associated with a strong decrease of the bacterial α-diversity in comparison to the control...

Although the microbial diversity evolved over three weeks post Tiamulin™ treatment, it failed to return to the initial composition by the end of the study and continued to harbor a relatively high relative abundance of Proteobacteria.


further studies should be undertaken to understand the ecological context in which a pathogenic bacterium might become harmful for its host.

antibiotic triggered a decrease in α-diversity followed by dysbiosis that might lead to higher vulnerability to colonization by pathogen and favor relapse

antibiotic treatment coupled to food supplements such as pre/pro/symbiotic should be considered in order to recover a ‘healthier’ gut microbiota post intervention.


Diana López-Farfán