Antibiotic treatment for Tuberculosis induces a profound dysbiosis of the microbiome that persists long after therapy is completed
Gene Expression Regulation, Bacterial
Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the cause of Tuberculosis (TB), infects one third of the world's population and causes substantial mortality worldwide. In its shortest format, treatment of TB requires six months of multidrug therapy with a mixture of broad spectrum and mycobacterial specific antibiotics, and treatment of multidrug resistant TB is longer. The widespread use of this regimen makes this one of the largest exposures of humans to antimicrobials, yet the effects of TB treatment on intestinal microbiome composition and long-term stability are unknown. We compared the microbiome composition, assessed by both 16S rDNA and metagenomic DNA sequencing, of TB cases during antimycobacterial treatment and following cure by 6 months of antibiotics. TB treatment does not perturb overall diversity, but nonetheless dramatically depletes multiple immunologically significant commensal bacteria. The microbiomic perturbation of TB therapy can persist for at least 1.2 years, indicating that the effects of TB treatment are long lasting. These results demonstrate that TB treatment has dramatic effects on the intestinal microbiome and highlight unexpected durable consequences of treatment for the world's most common infection on human ecology.