Burn Injury Alters the Intestinal Microbiome and Increases Gut Permeability and Bacterial Translocation

PLoS One. 2015 Jul 8;10(7):e0129996. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0129996. eCollection 2015.


Sepsis remains one of the leading causes of death in burn patients who survive the initial insult of injury. Disruption of the intestinal epithelial barrier has been shown after burn injury; this can lead to the translocation of bacteria or their products (e.g., endotoxin) from the intestinal lumen to the circulation, thereby increasing the risk for sepsis in immunocompromised individuals. Since the maintenance of the epithelial barrier is largely dependent on the intestinal microbiota, we examined the diversity of the intestinal microbiome of severely burned patients and a controlled mouse model of burn injury. We show that burn injury induces a dramatic dysbiosis of the intestinal microbiome of both humans and mice and allows for similar overgrowths of Gram-negative aerobic bacteria. Furthermore, we show that the bacteria increasing in abundance have the potential to translocate to extra-intestinal sites. This study provides an insight into how the diversity of the intestinal microbiome changes after burn injury and some of the consequences these gut bacteria can have in the host.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Bacterial Translocation*
  • Burns / microbiology*
  • Burns / pathology
  • Enterobacteriaceae / physiology
  • Female
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome*
  • Humans
  • Intestine, Small / microbiology
  • Lymph Nodes / pathology
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Middle Aged
  • Permeability

Associated data

  • BioProject/PRJNA273295
  • SRA/SRP052710