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Article

Common Oral Medications Lead to Prophage Induction in Bacterial Isolates from the Human Gut

1
Department of Microbiology and Immunology, McGill University, Montreal, QC H3A2B4, Canada
2
Department of Medicine, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON L8S4L8, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Mikael Skurnik
Viruses 2021, 13(3), 455; https://doi.org/10.3390/v13030455
Received: 20 January 2021 / Revised: 4 March 2021 / Accepted: 9 March 2021 / Published: 11 March 2021
(This article belongs to the Section Bacterial Viruses)
Many bacteria carry bacteriophages (bacterial viruses) integrated in their genomes in the form of prophages, which replicate passively alongside their bacterial host. Environmental conditions can lead to prophage induction; the switching from prophage replication to lytic replication, that results in new bacteriophage progeny and the lysis of the bacterial host. Despite their abundance in the gut, little is known about what could be inducing these prophages. We show that several medications, at concentrations predicted in the gut, lead to prophage induction of bacterial isolates from the human gut. We tested five medication classes (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory, chemotherapy, mild analgesic, cardiac, and antibiotic) for antimicrobial activity against eight prophage-carrying human gut bacterial representative isolates in vitro. Seven out of eight bacteria showed signs of growth inhibition in response to at least one medication. All medications led to growth inhibition of at least one bacterial isolate. Prophage induction was confirmed in half of the treatments showing antimicrobial activity. Unlike antibiotics, host-targeted medications led to a species-specific induction of Clostridium beijerinckii, Bacteroides caccae, and to a lesser extent Bacteroides eggerthii. These results show how common medication consumption can lead to phage-mediated effects, which in turn would alter the human gut microbiome through increased prophage induction. View Full-Text
Keywords: bacteriophage; gut microbiota; lysogeny; prophage; induction; medication; antimicrobial bacteriophage; gut microbiota; lysogeny; prophage; induction; medication; antimicrobial
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MDPI and ACS Style

Sutcliffe, S.G.; Shamash, M.; Hynes, A.P.; Maurice, C.F. Common Oral Medications Lead to Prophage Induction in Bacterial Isolates from the Human Gut. Viruses 2021, 13, 455. https://doi.org/10.3390/v13030455

AMA Style

Sutcliffe SG, Shamash M, Hynes AP, Maurice CF. Common Oral Medications Lead to Prophage Induction in Bacterial Isolates from the Human Gut. Viruses. 2021; 13(3):455. https://doi.org/10.3390/v13030455

Chicago/Turabian Style

Sutcliffe, Steven G., Michael Shamash, Alexander P. Hynes, and Corinne F. Maurice 2021. "Common Oral Medications Lead to Prophage Induction in Bacterial Isolates from the Human Gut" Viruses 13, no. 3: 455. https://doi.org/10.3390/v13030455

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