A comprehensive analysis of the faecal microbiome and metabolome of Strongyloides stercoralis infected volunteers from a non-endemic area

Sci Rep. 2018 Oct 23;8(1):15651. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-33937-3.


Data from recent studies support the hypothesis that infections by human gastrointestinal (GI) helminths impact, directly and/or indirectly, on the composition of the host gut microbial flora. However, to the best of our knowledge, these studies have been conducted in helminth-endemic areas with multi-helminth infections and/or in volunteers with underlying gut disorders. Therefore, in this study, we explore the impact of natural mono-infections by the human parasite Strongyloides stercoralis on the faecal microbiota and metabolic profiles of a cohort of human volunteers from a non-endemic area of northern Italy (S+), pre- and post-anthelmintic treatment, and compare the findings with data obtained from a cohort of uninfected controls from the same geographical area (S-). Analyses of bacterial 16S rRNA high-throughput sequencing data revealed increased microbial alpha diversity and decreased beta diversity in the faecal microbial profiles of S+ subjects compared to S-. Furthermore, significant differences in the abundance of several bacterial taxa were observed between samples from S+ and S- subjects, and between S+ samples collected pre- and post-anthelmintic treatment. Faecal metabolite analysis detected marked increases in the abundance of selected amino acids in S+ subjects, and of short chain fatty acids in S- subjects. Overall, our work adds valuable knowledge to current understanding of parasite-microbiota associations and will assist future mechanistic studies aimed to unravel the causality of these relationships.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acids / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Anthelmintics / therapeutic use
  • Bacteria / metabolism
  • Biodiversity
  • Fatty Acids / metabolism
  • Feces / microbiology*
  • Healthy Volunteers*
  • Humans
  • Metabolome*
  • Microbiota*
  • Phylogeny
  • Strongyloides stercoralis / physiology*
  • Strongyloidiasis / drug therapy
  • Strongyloidiasis / metabolism*
  • Strongyloidiasis / microbiology*


  • Amino Acids
  • Anthelmintics
  • Fatty Acids