Human Gut Microbiota Predicts Susceptibility to Vibrio cholerae Infection

Firas S. Midani, Ana A. Weil, Fahima Chowdhury, Yasmin A. Begum, Ashraful I. Khan, Meti D. Debela, Heather K. Durand, Aspen T. Reese, Sai N. Nimmagadda, Justin D. Silverman, Crystal N. Ellis, Edward T. Ryan, Stephen B. Calderwood, Jason B. Harris, Firdausi Qadri, Lawrence A. David, Regina C. Larocque

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


Background Cholera is a public health problem worldwide, and the risk factors for infection are only partially understood. Methods We prospectively studied household contacts of patients with cholera to compare those who were infected to those who were not. We constructed predictive machine learning models of susceptibility, using baseline gut microbiota data. We identified bacterial taxa associated with susceptibility to Vibrio cholerae infection and tested these taxa for interactions with V. cholerae in vitro. Results We found that machine learning models based on gut microbiota, as well as models based on known clinical and epidemiological risk factors, predicted V. cholerae infection. A predictive gut microbiota of roughly 100 bacterial taxa discriminated between contacts who developed infection and those who did not. Susceptibility to cholera was associated with depleted levels of microbes from the phylum Bacteroidetes. By contrast, a microbe associated with cholera by our modeling framework, Paracoccus aminovorans, promoted the in vitro growth of V. cholerae. Gut microbiota structure, clinical outcome, and age were also linked. Conclusion These findings support the hypothesis that abnormal gut microbial communities are a host factor related to V. cholerae susceptibility.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)645-653
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 13 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Medicine


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