Modulation of gut microbiota and intestinal barrier function during alleviation of antibiotic-associated diarrhea with Rhizoma Zingiber officinale (Ginger) extract†
Antibiotic-associated diarrhea (AAD) is typically mediated by antibiotic therapy, which has increased in prevalence in recent years. Previous studies have suggested that ginger, a common spice and herbal medicine, can modulate the composition of gut microbiota and is beneficial against gastrointestinal disease. This study investigates the therapeutic effects of fresh ginger extract on AAD in a rat model. Gut microbiota and intestinal barrier function were also studied. Ginger was administered to rats with AAD. Diarrhea symptoms were assessed, and 16s rRNA sequencing analysis of gut microbiota was performed. An AAD model was successfully established, and ginger was found to effectively ameliorate AAD-related diarrhea symptoms. After the intervention of ginger decoction, the diversity (rather than richness) of gut microbiota was significantly improved, and the gut microbiota recovery was accelerated. At the genus level, Escherichia_Shigella and Bacteroides levels decreased and increased the most, respectively. Additionally, these changes were demonstrated to be coincidental with the moderate restoration of intestinal barrier function, especially the restoration of tight junction protein ZO-1. Our data indicate that ginger could restore gut microbiota and intestinal barrier function during alleviation of AAD.