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Original Research ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Cell. Infect. Microbiol. | doi: 10.3389/fcimb.2019.00217

Sequential changes in the host gut microbiota during infection with the intestinal parasitic nematode Strongyloides venezuelensis

 Tanzila Afrin1,  Kazunori Murase1,  Asuka Kounosu1,  Vicky L. Hunt1, Mark Bligh1, Yasunobu Maeda1, Akina Hino1, 2, Haruhiko Maruyama1,  Isheng J. Tsai3 and  Taisei Kikuchi4*
  • 1Faculty of Medicine, University of Miyazaki, Japan
  • 2Department of Environmental Parasitology, Graduate School of Medical and Dental Sciences, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Japan
  • 3Biodiversity Research Center, Academia Sinica, Taiwan
  • 4Faculty of Medicine, University of Miyazaki, Japan

Soil-transmitted helminths (STHs) are medically important parasites that infect 1.5 billion humans globally, causing a substantial disease burden. These parasites infect the gastrointestinal tract of their host where they co-exist and interact with the host gut bacterial flora, leading to the coevolution of the parasites, microbiota and host organisms. However, little is known about how these interactions change through time with the progression of infection. Strongyloidiasis is a human parasitic disease caused by the nematode Strongyloides stercoralis infecting 30–100 million people. In this study, we used a closely related rodent parasite Strongyloides venezuelensis and mice as a model of gastrointestinal parasite infection. We conducted a time-course experiment to examine changes in the faecal microbiota from the start of infection to parasite clearance. We found that bacterial taxa in the host intestinal microbiota changed significantly as the infection progressed, with an increase in the genera Bacteroides and Candidatus Arthromitus, and a decrease in Prevotella and Rikenellaceae. However, the microbiota recovered to the pre-infective state after parasite clearance from the host, suggesting that these perturbations are reversible. Microarray analysis revealed that this microbiota transition is likely to correspond with the host immune response. These findings give us an insight into the dynamics of parasite–microbiota interactions in the host gut during parasite infection.

Keywords: Host–parasite interaction, microbiome, Strongyloides, Immune reaction, Candidatus Arthromitus

Received: 22 Feb 2019; Accepted: 05 Jun 2019.

Edited by:

Tomoyoshi Nozaki, Graduate School of Medicine and Faculty of Medicine, University of Tokyo, Japan

Reviewed by:

Djalma S. Lima Junior, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), United States
Isabel Mauricio, Institute of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, New University of Lisbon, Portugal  

Copyright: © 2019 Afrin, Murase, Kounosu, Hunt, Bligh, Maeda, Hino, Maruyama, Tsai and Kikuchi. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Taisei Kikuchi, University of Miyazaki, Faculty of Medicine, Miyazaki, Japan, taisei_kikuchi@med.miyazaki-u.ac.jp