Dynamics of the Gut Microbiome in Shigella-Infected Children during the First Two Years of Life.
Holm, Johanna B
Buchwald, Andrea G
Tennant, Sharon M
Laufer, Miriam K
Pasetti, Marcela F
Rasko, David A
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AbstractShigella continues to be a major contributor to diarrheal illness and dysentery in children younger than 5 years of age in low- and middle-income countries. Strategies for the prevention of shigellosis have focused on enhancing adaptive immunity. The interaction between Shigella and intrinsic host factors, such as the microbiome, remains unknown. We hypothesized that Shigella infection would impact the developing microbial community in infancy and, conversely, that changes in the gastrointestinal microbiome may predispose infections. To test this hypothesis, we characterized the gastrointestinal microbiota in a longitudinal birth cohort from Malawi that was monitored for Shigella infection using 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing. Children with at least one Shigella quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) positive sample during the first 2 years of life (cases) were compared to uninfected controls that were matched for sex and age. Overall, the microbial species diversity, as measured by the Shannon diversity index, increased over time, regardless of case status. At early time points, the microbial community was dominated by Bifidobacterium longum and Escherichia/Shigella. A greater abundance of Prevotella 9 and Bifidobacterium kashiwanohense was observed at 2 years of age. While no single species was associated with susceptibility to Shigella infection, significant increases in Lachnospiraceae NK4A136 and Fusicatenibacter saccharivorans were observed following Shigella infection. Both taxa are in the family Lachnospiraceae, which are known short-chain fatty acid producers that may improve gut health. Our findings identified temporal changes in the gastrointestinal microbiota associated with Shigella infection in Malawian children and highlight the need to further elucidate the microbial communities associated with disease susceptibility and resolution. IMPORTANCE Shigella causes more than 180 million cases of diarrhea globally, mostly in children living in poor regions. Infection can lead to severe health impairments that reduce quality of life. There is increasing evidence that disruptions in the gut microbiome early in life can influence susceptibility to illnesses. A delayed or impaired reconstitution of the microbiota following infection can further impact overall health. Aiming to improve our understanding of the interaction between Shigella and the developing infant microbiome, we investigated changes in the gut microbiome of Shigella-infected and uninfected children over the course of their first 2 years of life. We identified species that may be involved in recovery from Shigella infection and in driving the microbiota back to homeostasis. These findings support future studies into the elucidation of the interaction between the microbiota and enteric pathogens in young children and into the identification of potential targets for prevention or treatment.
Data AvailibilityAll of the raw sequencing data were deposited into NCBI SRA under BioProject ID PRJNA834726.
Data / Code Locationhttps://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/bioproject/?term=PRJNA834726
Identifier to cite or link to this itemhttp://hdl.handle.net/10713/19828