Triclosan has a robust, yet reversible impact on human gut microbial composition in vitro
Mahalak, Karley K.
Mattei, Lisa M.
Liu, Lin Shu
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The recent ban of the antimicrobial compound triclosan from use in consumer soaps followed research that showcased the risk it poses to the environment and to human health. Triclosan has been found in human plasma, urine and milk, demonstrating that it is present in human tissues. Previous work has also demonstrated that consumption of triclosan disrupts the gut microbial community of mice and zebrafish. Due to the widespread use of triclosan and ubiquity in the environment, it is imperative to understand the impact this chemical has on the human body and its symbiotic resident microbes. To that end, this study is the first to explore how triclosan impacts the human gut microbial communityin vitroboth during and after treatment. Through ourin vitrosystem simulating three regions of the human gut; the ascending colon, transverse colon, and descending colon regions, we found that treatment with triclosan significantly impacted the community structure in terms of reduced population, diversity, and metabolite production, most notably in the ascending colon region. Given a 2 week recovery period, most of the population levels, community structure, and diversity levels were recovered for all colon regions. Our results demonstrate that the human gut microbial community diversity and population size is significantly impacted by triclosan at a high dosein vitro, and that the community is recoverable within this system.