Rajagopala SV, Singh H, Yu Y, Zabokrtsky KB, Torralba MG, Moncera KJ, Frank B, Pieper R, Sender L, Nelson KE

Persistent Gut Microbial Dysbiosis in Children with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) During Chemotherapy.

Microbial ecology. 2020-05-01; 79.4: 1034-1043.

Prophylactic or therapeutic antibiotic use along with chemotherapy treatment potentially has a long-standing adverse effect on the resident gut microbiota. We have established a case-control cohort of 32 pediatric and adolescent acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) patients and 25 healthy siblings (sibling controls) to assess the effect of chemotherapy as well as antibiotic prophylaxis on the gut microbiota. We observe that the microbiota diversity and richness of the ALL group is significantly lower than that of the control group at diagnosis and during chemotherapy. The microbiota diversity is even lower in antibiotics-exposed ALL patients. Although the gut microbial diversity tends to stabilize after 1-year post-chemotherapy, their abundances were altered because of chemotherapy and prophylactic antibiotic treatments. Specifically, the abundances of mucolytic gram-positive anaerobic bacteria, including Ruminococcus gnavus and Ruminococcus torques, tended to increase during the chemotherapy regimen and continued to be elevated 1 year beyond the initiation of chemotherapy. This dysbiosis may contribute to the development of gastrointestinal complications in ALL children following chemotherapy. These findings set the stage to further understand the role of the gut microbiome dynamics in ALL patients and their potential role in alleviating some of the adverse side effects of chemotherapy and antibiotics use in immunocompromised children.

PMID: 31754744