Intestinal parasitic infection alters bacterial gut microbiota in children

Abstract, PeerJ, 2019

The study of the burden that parasites can exert upon the bacterial gut microbiota was restricted by the available technologies and their costs. Currently, next-generation sequencing coupled with traditional methodologies allows the study of eukaryotic parasites (protozoa and helminths) and its effects on the human bacterial gut microbiota diversity. This diversity can be altered by a variety of factors such as age, diet, genetics and parasitic infections among others. The disturbances of the gut microbiota have been associated with a variety of illnesses. Children population in developing countries, are especially susceptible to parasitic infections because of the lack of proper sanitation and undernutrition, allowing both, the thriving of intestinal parasites and profound alteration of the gut microbiota. In this work, we have sampled the stool of 23 children from four different children’s care-centers in Medellin, Colombia, and we have identified the eukaryotic parasites by traditional and molecular methodologies coupled with microbial profiling using 16S rDNA sequencing. This mixed methodology approach has allowed us to establish an interesting relationship between Giardia intestinalis and helminth infection, having both effects upon the bacterial gut microbiota enterotypes, causing a switch from a type I to a type II enterotype upon infection.

Subjects Bioinformatics, Microbiology, Parasitology, Infectious Diseases, Pediatrics

Keywords Intestinal parasites, Gut microbiota alteration, Children, Helminths, Protozoa, NGS