Effects of Rifaximin on Bacterial Translocation in Thioacetamide-Induced Liver Injury in Rats

Inflammation. 2012 Aug;35(4):1512-7. doi: 10.1007/s10753-012-9465-2.


Intestinal bacterial overgrowth (IBO) and increased mucosal permeability are suggested to increase bacterial translocation (BT) in liver injury. Rifaximin (RIF) is a minimally absorbed oral antimicrobial agent that restores gut microflora imbalance. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of RIF on BT frequency in thioacetamide (TAA)-induced liver injury. Group 1 was the control. In group 2 (TAA), rats received TAA daily for 3 days. In group 3 (TAA + RIF), RIF was commenced on the same day as the first dose of TAA. In group 4 (RIF), rats received only RIF. Ileal aspirate Escherichia coli counts were significantly lower in the TAA + RIF group than in TAA group. There was no difference in BT frequency between the TAA and TAA + RIF groups. Our results suggest that factors such as intestinal barrier dysfunction and impaired host immune shield, apart from IBO, play an important role in BT in this model.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bacterial Load
  • Bacterial Translocation / drug effects*
  • Chemical and Drug Induced Liver Injury / drug therapy*
  • Chemical and Drug Induced Liver Injury / microbiology*
  • Chemical and Drug Induced Liver Injury / pathology
  • Escherichia coli / growth & development*
  • Escherichia coli / isolation & purification
  • Ileum / drug effects
  • Ileum / microbiology*
  • Liver / microbiology
  • Male
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Rifamycins / pharmacology*
  • Rifamycins / therapeutic use
  • Rifaximin
  • Thioacetamide / toxicity*


  • Rifamycins
  • Thioacetamide
  • Rifaximin