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Occup Environ Med. 2019 Sep 25. pii: oemed-2019-106031. doi: 10.1136/oemed-2019-106031. [Epub ahead of print]

Changes in the gut microbiota during and after commercial helium-oxygen saturation diving in China.

Author information

1
Department of Neurophysiology and Neuropharmacology, Institute of Special Environmental Medicine and Co-innovation Center of Neuroregeneration, Nantong University, Nantong, China.
2
Department of Clinical Medicine, Henan East Branch of the Third Affiliated Hospital, Zhengzhou University, Shangqiu, China.
3
Diving Medical Support Center, Shanghai Salvage Ministry of Transport, Shanghai, China.
4
Department of Saturation Diving, Shenzhen DIV Diving Engineering Co. Ltd, Shenzhen, China.
5
Nantong Third People's Hospital, Nantong University, Nantong, China.
6
Department of Neurophysiology and Neuropharmacology, Institute of Special Environmental Medicine and Co-innovation Center of Neuroregeneration, Nantong University, Nantong, China jiangzl@ntu.edu.cn.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

The influence of commercial helium-oxygen saturation diving on divers' gut microbiotas was assessed to provide dietary suggestion.

METHODS:

Faecal samples of 47 divers working offshore were collected before (T1), during (T2) and after (T3) saturation diving. Their living and excursion depths were 55-134 metres underwater with a saturation duration of 12-31 days and PaO2 of 38-65 kPa. The faecal samples were examined through 16S ribosomal DNA amplicon sequencing based on the Illumina sequencing platform to analyse changes in the bacteria composition in the divers' guts.

RESULTS:

Although the α and β diversity of the gut microbiota did not change significantly, we found that living in a hyperbaric environment of helium-oxygen saturation decreased the abundance of the genus Bifidobacterium, an obligate anaerobe, from 2.43%±3.83% at T1 to 0.79%±1.23% at T2 and 0.59%±0.79% at T3. Additionally, the abundance of some short-chain fatty acid (SCFA)-producing bacteria, such as Fusicatenibacter, Faecalibacterium, rectale group and Anaerostipes, showed a decreased trend in the order of before, during and after diving. On the contrary, the abundance of species, such as Lactococcus garvieae, Actinomyces odontolyticus, Peptoclostridium difficile, Butyricimonas virosa, Streptococcus mutans, Porphyromonas asaccharolytica and A. graevenitzii, showed an increasing trend, but most of them were pathogens.

CONCLUSIONS:

Occupational exposure to high pressure in a helium-oxygen saturation environment decreased the abundance of Bifidobacterium and some SCFA-producing bacteria, and increased the risk of pathogenic bacterial infection. Supplementation of the diver diet with probiotics or prebiotics during saturation diving might prevent these undesirable changes.

KEYWORDS:

Gut Microbiota; Next Generation Sequencing; Saturation Diving

PMID:
31554647
DOI:
10.1136/oemed-2019-106031

Conflict of interest statement

Competing interests: None declared.

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