Receive a weekly summary and discussion of the top papers of the week by leading researchers in the field.

In NPJ biofilms and microbiomes

Drug repurposing is a feasible strategy for the development of novel therapeutic applications. However, its potential use for oral treatments and impact on host microbiota remain underexplored. Here, we assessed the influences of topical oral applications of a repurposed FDA-approved drug, thonzonium bromide, on gastrointestinal microbiomes and host tissues in a rat model of dental caries designed to reduce cross-contamination associated with coprophagy. Using this model, we recapitulated the body site microbiota that mirrored the human microbiome profile. Oral microbiota was perturbed by the treatments with specific disruption of Rothia and Veillonella without affecting the global composition of the fecal microbiome. However, disturbances in the oral-gut microbial interactions were identified using nestedness and machine learning, showing increased sharing of oral taxon Sutterella in the gut microbiota. Host-tissue analyses revealed caries reduction on teeth by thonzonium bromide without cytotoxic effects, indicating bioactivity and biocompatibility when used orally. Altogether, we demonstrate how an oral treatment using a repurposed drug causes localized microbial disturbances and therapeutic effects while promoting turnover of specific oral species in the lower gut in vivo.

Simon-Soro Aurea, Kim Dongyeop, Li Yong, Liu Yuan, Ito Tatsuro, Sims Kenneth R, Benoit Danielle S W, Bittinger Kyle, Koo Hyun