The goal of this study is to examine the longitudinal effects of long-term oral antibiotics on the gut microbiome. In particular, ~50 million Americans a year suffer from acne and rosacea and in a large portion of these patients, long term oral antibiotics are the standard of care. Using dermatology patients suffering from these conditions, we will analyze their gut microbiome by repeated stool sampling before, during and after long term oral antibiotic exposure. We hypothesize that chronic oral antibiotic use will induce permanent shifts in the gut microbiome even after the medications have been discontinued.
We predict that these shifts in the gut microbiome will correlate with acne and rosacea disease activity in a subset of patients and our first objective will be to identify novel, more focused therapeutics for these extremely common inflammatory skin conditions. The second objective will be to the monitor the resilience of the gut microbiome to the strong and sustained pressure of long-term antibiotic exposure. We will use clinical data collected on patients over time to see if patients undergoing chronic antibiotic have a modified risk of a number of gut-related and unrelated diseases later in life.
Why This Project?
The essence of what uBiome is interested in, the microbiome, is under constant pressures in our industrialized pharmaceutical-happy society. As a practicing physician-scientist I know very well the extent to which antimicrobial agents are being used both appropriately and inappropriately. Examining the effects of long term oral antibiotics in a longitudinal, well designed, well annotated, and disease relevant patient cohort will be a perfect complement to uBiome’s mission of understanding the human microbiome in today’s day and age.
About the Researcher
Dr. Eon Rios is a Physician Scientist at Stanford School of Medicine as well as dermatologist at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center. Dr. Rios earned his MD/PhD from Stanford School of Medicine in Immunology and completed his dermatology residency at Stanford Hospital and Clinics in the field of Dermatology. Dr. Rios' research revolves around the fundamental regulators of skin differentiation at the cellular level as well as the link between the innate immune system and microbial flora that surround us. His microbiome related studies aim to identify associations between the gut, mucous membrane and skin microbiomes to skin diseases in hopes of identifying previously unknown etiologies and treatments for these diseases.