BACKGROUND Gut decontamination (GD) can decrease the incidence and severity of acute graft-versus-host disease (aGVHD) in murine models of allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT). In this pilot study, we examined the impact of GD on gut microbiome composition and the incidence of aGVHD in HCT patients.METHODS We randomized 20 patients undergoing allogeneic HCT to receive (GD) or not receive (no-GD) oral vancomycin-polymyxin B from day –5 through neutrophil engraftment. We evaluated shotgun metagenomic sequencing of serial stool samples to compare the composition and diversity of the gut microbiome between study arms. We assessed clinical outcomes in the 2 arms and performed strain-specific analyses of pathogens that caused bloodstream infections (BSI).RESULTS The 2 arms did not differ in the predefined primary outcome of Shannon diversity of the gut microbiome at 2 weeks post-HCT (genus, P = 0.8; species, P = 0.44) or aGVHD incidence (P = 0.58). Immune reconstitution of T cell and B cell subsets was similar between groups. Five patients in the no-GD arm had 8 BSI episodes versus 1 episode in the GD arm (P = 0.09). The BSI-causing pathogens were traceable to the gut in 7 of 8 BSI episodes in the no-GD arm, including Staphylococcus species.CONCLUSION While GD did not differentially affect Shannon diversity or clinical outcomes, our findings suggest that GD may protect against gut-derived BSI in HCT patients by decreasing the prevalence or abundance of gut pathogens.TRIAL REGISTRATION ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02641236.FUNDING NIH, Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation, V Foundation, Sloan Foundation, Emerson Collective, and Stanford Maternal & Child Health Research Institute.
Christopher J. Severyn, Benjamin A. Siranosian, Sandra Tian-Jiao Kong, Angel Moreno, Michelle M. Li, Nan Chen, Christine N. Duncan, Steven P. Margossian, Leslie E. Lehmann, Shan Sun, Tessa M. Andermann, Olga Birbrayer, Sophie Silverstein, Carol G. Reynolds, Soomin Kim, Niaz Banaei, Jerome Ritz, Anthony A. Fodor, Wendy B. London, Ami S. Bhatt, Jennifer S. Whangbo