Compositions of gut microbiota before and shortly after hepatitis C viral eradication by direct antiviral agents

Yao Chun Hsu, Chih Cheng Chen, Wei Hsiang Lee, Chi Yang Chang, Fu Jen Lee, Cheng Hao Tseng, Tzu Haw Chen, Hsiu J. Ho, Jaw Town Lin, Chun Ying Wu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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It is unclear whether dysbiosis in hepatitis C virus (HCV) infected patients results from the viral infection per se or develops as a result of hepatic dysfunction. We aimed to characterize compositions in gut microbiome before and shortly after HCV clearance. In this prospective cohort study, adult patients with confirmed HCV viremia were screened before receiving direct antiviral agents. Those with recent exposure to antibiotics or probiotics (within one month), prior abdominal surgery, or any malignancy were ineligible. Stool was collected before antiviral therapy started and at 12 weeks after the treatment completed. From the extracted bacterial DNA, 16 s rRNA gene was amplified and sequenced. Each patient was matched 1:2 in age and sex with uninfected controls. A total of 126 individuals were enrolled into analysis. The gut microbiome was significantly different between HCV-infected patients (n = 42), with or without cirrhosis, and their age-and sex-matched controls (n = 84) from the levels of phylum to amplicon sequence variant (all p values < 0.01 by principal coordinates analysis). All patients achieved viral eradication and exhibited no significant changes in the overall composition of gut microbiome following viral eradication (all p values > 0.5), also without significant difference in alpha diversity (all p values > 0.5). For the purpose of exploration, we also reported bacteria found differently abundant before and after HCV eradication, including Coriobacteriaceae, Peptostreptococcaceae, Staphylococcaceae, Morganellaceae, Pasteurellaceae, Succinivibrionaceae, and Moraxellaceae. Gut microbiota is altered in HCV-infected patients as compared with uninfected controls, but the overall microbial compositions do not significantly change shortly after HCV eradication.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5481
JournalScientific reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2022


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