Helicobacter pylori eradication is imperative to prevent gastric cancer before the development of gastric atrophy and/or intestinal metaplasia. However, there is no clear consensus on the optimal age for H. pylori eradication, and changes in the gut microbiota after eradication and their potential future impacts remain unknown. Our aim was to assess gut microbiome changes after H. pylori eradication in children.Methods
Changes in the gut microbiota before and after H. pylori eradication was prospectively investigated in 8 students without any underlying diseases by 16 s rRNA genes using next-generation sequencing. A total of 24 stool samples were collected, and operational taxonomic unit analysis was performed. As secondary analyses, alpha and beta diversity were evaluated. Furthermore, pre-treatment structures in the microbiome were compared with structures 1 week and 2 months after treatment.Results
Alpha diversity analysis showed that both richness and evenness were recovered to pre-treatment levels at 2 months after eradication therapy. There were almost no differences in bacterial species abundance between pre- and post-treatment samples in beta diversity analysis. Although the relative abundance of Bacteroidetes tended to increase and Actinobacteria significantly decreased immediately after eradication, the taxonomic composition was similar to that pre-eradication at 2 months post-eradication. However, 2 students showed significant structural changes in their relative abundances at the phylum level.Conclusions
This study suggests a limited impact of H. pylori eradication therapy on the gut microbiome in healthy mid-teenagers. However, we should continuously monitor the effects of changes to the gut microbiome caused by antibiotic use.