Selection of an anti-pathogen skin microbiome following prophylaxis treatment in an amphibian model system

Samantha A. Siomko, Sasha E. Greenspan, K. M. Barnett, Wesley J. Neely, Stanislava Chtarbanova, Douglas C. Woodhams, Taegan A. McMahon, C. Guilherme Becker

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4 Scopus citations


With emerging diseases on the rise, there is an urgent need to identify and understand novel mechanisms of prophylactic protection in vertebrate hosts. Inducing resistance against emerging pathogens through prophylaxis is an ideal management strategy that may impact pathogens and their host-associated microbiome. The host microbiome is recognized as a critical component of immunity, but the effects of prophylactic inoculation on the microbiome are unknown. In this study, we investigate the effects of prophylaxis on host microbiome composition, focusing on the selection of anti-pathogenic microbes contributing to host acquired immunity in a model host-fungal disease system, amphibian chytridiomycosis. We inoculated larval Pseudacris regilla against the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) with a Bd metabolite-based prophylactic. Increased prophylactic concentration and exposure duration were associated with significant increases in proportions of putatively Bd-inhibitory host-associated bacterial taxa, indicating a protective prophylactic-induced shift towards microbiome members that are antagonistic to Bd. Our findings are in accordance with the adaptive microbiome hypothesis, where exposure to a pathogen alters the microbiome to better cope with subsequent pathogen encounters. Our study advances research on the temporal dynamics of microbiome memory and the role of prophylaxis-induced shifts in microbiomes contributing to prophylaxis effectiveness. This article is part of the theme issue 'Amphibian immunity: stress, disease and ecoimmunology'.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number20220126
JournalPhilosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Issue number1882
StatePublished - Jul 31 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences

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