Thomas Damgaard Sandahl

No Effect in Alcoholic Hepatitis of Gut-Selective, Broad-Spectrum Antibiotics on Bacterial Translocation or Hepatic and Systemic Inflammation

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INTRODUCTION: In alcoholic hepatitis (AH), translocation of gut bacteria may drive hepatic macrophage activation and systemic inflammation. We investigated the effect of oral non-absorbable, broad-spectrum antibiotic treatment on bacterial translocation and liver and systemic inflammation in AH. METHODS: We consecutively recruited 31 patients with AH. Fourteen were given vancomycin 500 mg, gentamycin 40 mg, and meropenem 500 mg once daily for 7 days. Seventeen patients were a reference group receiving standard-of-care. Circulating markers of bacterial translocation and inflammation were measured at baseline, by day 7 and 90. Gut bacteriome profiling was performed before the intervention and at day 7. RESULTS: At study entry, blood lipopolysaccharide-binding protein was multifold higher than normal, remained unchanged at day 7, but decreased at day 90 (P < 0.001) with no difference between the study groups. The macrophage activation markers sCD163 and sCD206 showed the same pattern (P < 0.001, day 90), still without group differences. The systemic inflammation markers tumor necrosis factor-alpha, interleukin (IL)-6, IL-8, and IL-10 showed similar dynamics without group differences. There was no difference in 90-day mortality (total of 6 deaths) between the groups. The remnant gut bacteriome was markedly diversified by the intervention with growth of bacterial species rare for human flora. DISCUSSION: In patients with AH, gut-targeted antibiotic treatment does not change markers of bacterial translocation and liver and systemic inflammation. This suggests that bacterial translocation is less important once the inflammatory process is established or that bacteriome reduction is less important than composition.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere00306
JournalClinical and Translational Gastroenterology
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021

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