Exploring Changes in the Host Gut Microbiota During a Controlled Human Infection Model for Campylobacter jejuni

Blake W. Stamps, Janelle Kuroiwa, Sandra D. Isidean, Megan A. Schilling, Clayton Harro, Kawsar R. Talaat, David A. Sack, David R. Tribble, Alexander C. Maue, Joanna E. Rimmer, Renee M. Laird, Chad K. Porter, Michael S. Goodson, Frédéric Poly*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Campylobacter jejuni infection is a leading cause of foodborne disease, common to children, adult travelers, and military populations in low- to middle-income countries. In the absence of a licensed vaccine, efforts to evaluate prophylactic agents are underway. The prophylactic efficacy of a twice-daily, 550 mg dose of the antibiotic rifaximin demonstrated no efficacy against campylobacteriosis in a controlled human infection model (CHIM); however, samples from the CHIM study were utilized to assess how the human gut microbiome responds to C. jejuni infection, and if a ‘protective’ microbiota exists in study participants not developing campylobacteriosis. Statistically significant, but minor, differences in study participant beta diversity were identified during the challenge period (p = 0.002, R2 = 0.042), but no significant differences were otherwise observed. Pre-challenge alpha diversity was elevated in study participants who did not develop campylobacteriosis compared to those who did (p < 0.001), but alpha diversity declined in all study participants from the pre-challenge period to post-discharge. Our work provides insight into gut microbiome shifts observed during a C. jejuni CHIM and following antibiotic treatment. This study utilized a high dose of 1.7 x 105 colony-forming units of C. jejuni; future work could include CHIM studies performed with inocula more closely mimicking natural exposure as well as field studies involving naturally-occurring enteric infections.

Original languageEnglish
Article number702047
JournalFrontiers in cellular and infection microbiology
StatePublished - 31 Aug 2021


  • Campylobacter jejuni
  • diarrhea
  • dysbiosys
  • human infection model
  • microbiota


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