Proton pump inhibitors alter gut microbiota by promoting oral microbiota translocation: a prospective interventional study

Gut. 2024 Mar 14:gutjnl-2023-330883. doi: 10.1136/gutjnl-2023-330883. Online ahead of print.


Background: The mechanism by which proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) alter gut microbiota remains to be elucidated. We aimed to learn whether PPI induced gut microbiota alterations by promoting oral microbial translocation.

Methods: Healthy adult volunteers were randomly assigned: PP group (n=8, 40 mg esomeprazole daily for seven days) and PM group (n=8, 40 mg esomeprazole along with chlorhexidine mouthwash after each meal for seven days). Fecal and saliva samples were analysed using 16S ribosomal RNA sequencing. Mouse models were introduced to confirm the findings in vivo, while the effect of pH on oral bacteria proliferation activity was investigated in vitro.

Results: Taxon-based analysis indicated that PPI administration increased Streptococcus abundance in gut microbiota (P<0.001), and the increased species of Streptococcus were found to be from the oral site or oral/nasal sites, in which Streptococcus anginosus was identified as the significantly changed species (P<0.004). Microbial source tracker revealed that PPI significantly increased the contribution of oral bacteria to gut microbiota (P=0.026), and no significant difference was found in PM group (P=0.467). Compared to the baseline, there was a 42-fold increase in gut abundance of Streptococcus anginosus in PP group (P=0.002), and the times decreased to 16-fold in PM group (P=0.029). Mouse models showed that combination of PPI and Streptococcus anginosus significantly increased the gut abundance of Streptococcus anginosus compared with using PPI or Streptococcus anginosus only. Furthermore, Streptococcus anginosus cannot survive in vitro at a pH lower than 5.

Conclusions: PPIs altered gut microbiota by promoting oral-originated Streptococcus translocation into gut.


Publication types

  • Review