Effect of Antibiotics on Gut and Vaginal Microbiomes Associated with Cervical Cancer Development in Mice

Cancer Prev Res (Phila). 2020 Dec;13(12):997-1006. doi: 10.1158/1940-6207.CAPR-20-0103. Epub 2020 Sep 11.


Antibiotics affect microbial diversity in the gut, leading to dysbiosis and impaired immunity. However, the impact of antibiotics on microbial communities at other sites, such as vagina is less understood. It is also not clear whether changes induced by antibiotics in both microbiomes affect the development of cervical cancer. In this study, we utilized the murine model to evaluate these questions. We show that oral application of broad-spectrum antibiotics in mice changed not only diversity, but composition and sharing of gut and vaginal microbiomes in mice and influenced cervical cancer development in an orthotopic tumor model. Antibiotics decreased richness and diversity indexes in the gut but increased them in the vagina. Some beneficial taxa, such as Bacteroides, Ruminococcaceae, and Lachnospiraceae increased their abundance in the vagina while other pathogenic species, such as Proteobacteria, were decreased. As a result of the changes, mice with greater richness and diversity of the vaginal microbiome after antibiotics exposure were less likely developed tumors. No association between richness and diversity of the gut microbiome and tumor development was identified.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Bacteria / classification*
  • Bacteria / genetics
  • Bacteria / growth & development
  • Bacteria / isolation & purification
  • Female
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome*
  • Mice
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / microbiology
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Vagina / drug effects
  • Vagina / microbiology*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents