Impact of international travel and diarrhea on gut microbiome and resistome dynamics
International travel contributes to the global spread of antimicrobial resistance. Travelers’ diarrhea exacerbates the risk of acquiring multidrug-resistant organisms and can lead to persistent gastrointestinal disturbance post-travel. However, little is known about the impact of diarrhea on travelers’ gut microbiomes, and the dynamics of these changes throughout travel. Here, we assembled a cohort of 159 international students visiting the Andean city of Cusco, Peru and applied next-generation sequencing techniques to 718 longitudinally-collected stool samples. We find that gut microbiome composition changed significantly throughout travel, but taxonomic diversity remained stable. However, diarrhea disrupted this stability and resulted in an increased abundance of antimicrobial resistance genes that can remain high for weeks.
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