Flux, impact, and fate of halogenated xenobiotic compounds in the gut

Siavash Atashgahi, Sudarshan A. Shetty, Hauke Smidt, Willem M. de Vos*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


Humans and their associated microbiomes are exposed to numerous xenobiotics through drugs, dietary components, personal care products as well as environmental chemicals. Most of the reciprocal interactions between the microbiota and xenobiotics, such as halogenated compounds, occur within the human gut harboring diverse and dense microbial communities. Here, we provide an overview of the flux of halogenated compounds in the environment, and diverse exposure routes of human microbiota to these compounds. Subsequently, we review the impact of halogenated compounds in perturbing the structure and function of gut microbiota and host cells. In turn, cultivation-dependent and metagenomic surveys of dehalogenating genes revealed the potential of the gut microbiota to chemically alter halogenated xenobiotics and impact their fate. Finally, we provide an outlook for future research to draw attention and attract interest to study the bidirectional impact of halogenated and other xenobiotic compounds and the gut microbiota.

Original languageEnglish
Article number888
JournalFrontiers in Physiology
Issue numberJUL
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jul 2018


  • Dehalogenation genes
  • Gut microbiota
  • Halogenated compounds
  • Metagenomics
  • Xenobiotic-microbiota interaction
  • Xenobiotics


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