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Interactions between Parasitic Infections and the Human Gut Microbiome in Odisha, India

Tiffany HuweDepartment of Biological Sciences, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Indiana;

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Birendra Kumar PrustyDistrict Diagnostic Laboratory, Malkangiri, India;

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Aisurya RayInstitute of Life Sciences, Bhubaneswar, India

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Shaun LeeDepartment of Biological Sciences, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Indiana;

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Balachandran RavindranInstitute of Life Sciences, Bhubaneswar, India

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Edwin MichaelDepartment of Biological Sciences, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Indiana;

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Soil-transmitted helminth (STH) infections and malaria are parasitic diseases with enormous global health burdens. Research has demonstrated a relationship between each of these parasites and the gut microbiome, suggesting that the gut microbiota may be implicated in governing host susceptibility to diverse pathogens, and perhaps even coinfection by different pathogens, through similar microbiome-influenced pathways. Here, we have derived a first microbiome community profile associated with STH infections in Odisha, India, and tested the hypothesis that the gut microbiome can modulate host susceptibility to multiple parasite infections through the same pathways. This study revealed several bacterial taxa negatively associated with specific STH infections, including Lactobacillus and Lachnospiracaea. Our results also suggest that relative abundance of Lactobacillus is driven by the STH infection status more so than by the Plasmodium infection status. This study contributes to efforts to understand the effects of the microbiome on host susceptibility to parasitic infections in endemic communities.

Author Notes

Address correspondence to Edwin Michael, University of Notre Dame, 349 Galvin Life Science Center, Notre Dame, IN 46556. E-mail: emichael@nd.edu

Authors’ addresses: Tiffany Huwe, Shaun Lee, and Edwin Michael, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN, E-mails: thuwe@nd.edu, shaun.w.lee.310@nd.edu, and emichael@nd.edu. Birendra Kumar Prusty, District Diagnostic Laboratory, Malkangiri, India, E-mail: drbirendraprusty@gmail.com. Aisurya Ray, Institute of Life Sciences, Bhubaneswar, India, E-mail: ray.aisurya123@gmail.com. Balachandran Ravindran, Institute of Life Sciences, Bhubaneswar, India, E-mail: ravindran8@gmail.com.

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