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Gut Microbes. 2010 Jul;1(4):279-284. Epub 2010 May 24.

Antibiotic administration alters the community structure of the gastrointestinal micobiota.

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Department of Internal Medicine; Division of Infectious Diseases; University of Michigan; Ann Arbor, MI USA.


We recently demonstrated that antibiotic administration has a reproducible effect on the community structure of the indigenous gastrointestinal microbiota of mice. In this addendum we report on additional experimentation using the antibiotic vancomycin. In accord with our previous findings, vancomycin administration results in consistent alteration of the microbiota of the cecal contents and the cecal mucosa. These alterations are largely reversed by a three-week period of recovery without antibiotics. In contrast to our previous results using other antibiotics, the alterations in community structure associated with vancomycin occured without a significant decrease in the overall bacterial biomass. These results indicate that different antibiotics have specific effects on the gut microbiota. This points the way towards targeted, therapeutic alteration of the gut bacterial community as a whole.

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