Gut Microbiota as Well as Metabolomes of Wistar Rats Recover within Two Weeks after Doripenem Antibiotic Treatment

Aishwarya Murali*, Franziska Maria Zickgraf, Philipp Ternes, Varun Giri, Hunter James Cameron, Saskia Sperber, Volker Haake, Peter Driemert, Hennicke Kamp, Dorothee Funk Weyer, Shana J. Sturla, Ivonne M.G.M. Rietjens, Bennard van Ravenzwaay*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


An understanding of the changes in gut microbiome composition and its associated metabolic functions is important to assess the potential implications thereof on host health. Thus, to elucidate the connection between the gut microbiome and the fecal and plasma metabolomes, two poorly bioavailable carbapenem antibiotics (doripenem and meropenem), were administered in a 28-day oral study to male and female Wistar rats. Additionally, the recovery of the gut microbiome and metabolomes in doripenem-exposed rats were studied one and two weeks after antibiotic treatment (i.e., doripenem-recovery groups). The 16S bacterial community analysis revealed an altered microbial population in all antibiotic treatments and a recovery of bacterial diversity in the doripenem-recovery groups. A similar pattern was observed in the fecal metabolomes of treated animals. In the recovery group, particularly after one week, an over-compensation was observed in fecal metabolites, as they were significantly changed in the opposite direction compared to previously changed metabolites upon 28 days of antibiotic exposure. Key plasma metabolites known to be diagnostic of antibiotic-induced microbial shifts, including indole derivatives, hippuric acid, and bile acids were also affected by the two carbapenems. Moreover, a unique increase in the levels of indole-3-acetic acid in plasma following meropenem treatment was observed. As was observed for the fecal metabolome, an overcompensation of plasma metabolites was observed in the recovery group. The data from this study provides insights into the connectivity of the microbiome and fecal and plasma metabolomes and demonstrates restoration post-antibiotic treatment not only for the microbiome but also for the metabolomes. The importance of overcompensation reactions for health needs further studies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number533
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2023


  • carbapenems
  • gut microbiome
  • gut microbiota and metabolome recovery
  • metabolomics
  • repeated dose oral study


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