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Comparison of different modes of antibiotic delivery on gut microbiota depletion efficiency and body composition in mouse

Abstract : Background The use of animal models with depleted intestinal microbiota has recently increased thanks to the huge interest in the potential role of these micro-organisms in human health. In particular, depletion of gut bacteria using antibiotics has recently become popular as it represents a low cost and easy alternative to germ-free animals. Various regimens of antibiotics are used in the literature, which differ in composition, dose, length of treatment and mode of administration. In order to help investigators in choosing the most appropriate protocol for their studies, we compared here three modes of antibiotic delivery to deplete gut bacteria in C57Bl/6 mice. We delivered one of the most frequently used combination of antibiotics (a mix of ampicillin, neomycin, metronidazole and vancomycin) either ad libitum in drinking water or by oral gavage once or twice per day. Results We quantified the global bacterial density, as well as the abundance of specific bacterial and fungal taxa, in mouse feces in response to antibiotics exposure. We observed that oral gavage once a day with antibiotics is not a reliable method as it occasionally triggers hyperproliferation of bacteria belonging to the Escherichia/Shigella taxon and leads, as a consequence, to a moderate decrease in fecal bacterial density. Antibiotics delivery by oral gavage twice a day or in drinking water induces in contrast a robust and consistent depletion of mouse fecal bacteria, as soon as 4 days of treatment, and is associated with an increase in fecal moisture content. Extending exposure to antibiotics beyond 7 days does not improve total bacteria depletion efficiency and promotes fungal overgrowth. We show in addition that all tested protocols impact neither gut microbiota recolonization efficiency, 1 or 2 weeks after the stop of antibiotics, nor mice body composition after 1 week of treatment. Conclusions Our study provides key experimental data and highlights important parameters to consider before selecting an appropriate protocol for antibiotic-mediated depletion of gut bacteria, in order to optimize the accuracy and the reproducibility of results and to facilitate comparison between studies.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, December 9, 2020 - 2:38:06 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, April 6, 2022 - 5:04:03 PM
Long-term archiving on: : Wednesday, March 10, 2021 - 7:17:44 PM


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Pauline Tirelle, Jonathan Breton, Gaëtan Riou, Pierre Déchelotte, Moïse Coëffier, et al.. Comparison of different modes of antibiotic delivery on gut microbiota depletion efficiency and body composition in mouse. BMC Microbiology, BioMed Central, 2020, 20 (1), ⟨10.1186/s12866-020-02018-9⟩. ⟨hal-03048494⟩



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