Principles and Terminology for Host-Microbiome-Drug Interactions

Open Forum Infect Dis. 2023 Apr 12;10(5):ofad195. doi: 10.1093/ofid/ofad195. eCollection 2023 May.


Interactions between the microbiome and medical therapies are distinct and bidirectional. The existing term "pharmacomicrobiomics" describes the effects of the microbiome on drug distribution, metabolism, efficacy, and toxicity. We propose that the term "pharmacoecology" be used to describe the effects that drugs and other medical interventions such as probiotics have on microbiome composition and function. We suggest that the terms are complementary but distinct and that both are potentially important when assessing drug safety and efficacy as well as drug-microbiome interactions. As a proof of principle, we describe the ways in which these concepts apply to antimicrobial and non-antimicrobial medications.

Keywords: antimicrobial drugs; microbiome; non-antimicrobial drugs; pharmacoecology; pharmacomicrobiomics.