Toxicology

Triclosan restructures gut communities

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Science  10 Jun 2016:
Vol. 352, Issue 6291, pp. 1289
DOI: 10.1126/science.352.6291.1289-a

Ingesting organic compounds can modify the gut microbial communities in zebrafish.

PHOTO: KAZAKOV MAKSIM/SHUTTERSTOCK

Trace organic compounds can have a range of unintended consequences for environmental ecosystems and exposed animals. The adverse health effects of the antimicrobial compound triclosan and its degradation by-products, for example, have led to bans of its use in some consumer products. Gaulke et al. show how triclosan modifies gut microbial communities after ingestion. In zebrafish fed triclosan-laced diets, gut community composition dramatically shifted over short time intervals. Some community members were highly susceptible to triclosan exposure, whereas others, including members of the genus Pseudomonas and the family Rhodobacteraceae, were more resistant. Overall, triclosan exposure altered ecological dynamics and interaction networks, demonstrating how such trace compounds can have a profound impact on the gut microbiome.

PLOS ONE 10.1371/journal.pone.0154632 (2016).

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