Chinese liver fluke Clonorchis sinensis infection changes the gut microbiome and increases probiotic Lactobacillus in mice

Parasitol Res. 2019 Feb;118(2):693-699. doi: 10.1007/s00436-018-6179-x. Epub 2019 Jan 8.


Chinese liver fluke Clonorchis sinensis changes the host's immune system. Recently, it has been reported that helminths including C. sinensis can ameliorate immune-related diseases such as allergy. In addition, recent studies showed that helminth infection can alleviate immune-mediated disorders by altering the gut microbiome. However, changes in the gut microbiome due to C. sinensis have not been reported yet. In this study, changes in the gut microbiome of C57BL/6 mice infected with C. sinensis metacercariae were evaluated over time. Stool was analyzed by 16S rRNA amplicon analysis using high-throughput sequencing technology. There was no apparent difference in species richness and diversity between the infected and control groups. However, the composition of the microbiome was different between the infected and control groups at 20 days and 30 days post-infection, and the difference disappeared at 50 days post-infection. In particular, this microbiome alteration was associated with a change in the relative abundance of genus Lactobacillus and the probiotic Lactobacillus species that are known to have an immune-modulation role in immune-mediated diseases.

Keywords: Clonorchis sinensis; Gut microbiome; Lactobacillus; Liver fluke; Metagenomics.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Clonorchiasis / immunology*
  • Clonorchiasis / parasitology
  • Clonorchis sinensis / growth & development
  • Clonorchis sinensis / immunology*
  • Feces / microbiology
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome / physiology*
  • High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing
  • Lactobacillus / classification
  • Lactobacillus / cytology
  • Lactobacillus / growth & development*
  • Metacercariae / cytology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Probiotics / analysis*
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S / genetics


  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S