Impact of experimental hookworm infection on the human gut microbiota

J Infect Dis. 2014 Nov 1;210(9):1431-4. doi: 10.1093/infdis/jiu256. Epub 2014 May 3.


The interactions between gastrointestinal parasitic helminths and commensal bacteria are likely to play a pivotal role in the establishment of host-parasite cross-talk, ultimately shaping the development of the intestinal immune system. However, little information is available on the impact of infections by gastrointestinal helminths on the bacterial communities inhabiting the human gut. We used 16S rRNA gene amplification and pyrosequencing to characterize, for the first time to our knowledge, the differences in composition and relative abundance of fecal microbial communities in human subjects prior to and following experimental infection with the blood-feeding intestinal hookworm, Necator americanus. Our data show that, although hookworm infection leads to a minor increase in microbial species richness, no detectable effect is observed on community structure, diversity or relative abundance of individual bacterial species.

Trial registration: NCT00671138.

Keywords: 16S rRNA gene; chronic inflammatory disorders; experimental infection; hookworms; microbial richness; parasitic helminths; pyrosequencing.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Feces / microbiology
  • Feces / parasitology
  • Gastrointestinal Tract / immunology
  • Gastrointestinal Tract / microbiology*
  • Gastrointestinal Tract / parasitology
  • Humans
  • Microbiota* / physiology
  • Necator americanus*
  • Necatoriasis / immunology
  • Necatoriasis / microbiology*

Associated data