Rapid gastrointestinal loss of Clostridial Clusters IV and XIVa in the ICU associates with an expansion of gut pathogens
Commensal gastrointestinal bacteria resist the expansion of pathogens and are lost during critical illness, facilitating pathogen colonization and infection. We performed a prospective, ICU-based study to determine risk factors for loss of gut colonization resistance during the initial period of critical illness. Rectal swabs were taken from adult ICU patients within 4 hours of admission and 72 hours later, and analyzed using 16S rRNA gene sequencing and selective culture for vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE). Microbiome data was visualized using principal coordinate analyses (PCoA) and assessed using a linear discriminant analysis algorithm and logistic regression modeling. 93 ICU patients were analyzed. At 72 hours following ICU admission, there was a significant decrease in the proportion of Clostridial Clusters IV/XIVa, taxa that produce short chain fatty acids (SCFAs). At the same time, there was a significant expansion in Enterococcus. Decreases in Cluster IV/XIVa Clostridia were associated with loss of gut microbiome colonization resistance (reduced diversity and community stability over time). In multivariable analysis, both decreased Cluster IV/XIVa Clostridia and increased Enterococcus after 72 hours were associated with receipt of antibiotics. Cluster IV/XIVa Clostridia, although a small fraction of the overall gastrointestinal microbiome, drove distinct clustering on PCoA. During initial treatment for critical illness, there was a loss of Cluster IV/XIVa Clostridia within the distal gut microbiome which associated with an expansion of VRE and with a loss of gut microbiome colonization resistance. Receipt of broad-spectrum antibiotics was associated with these changes.
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- PLoS ONE