General Anesthesia Alters the Diversity and Composition of the Intestinal Microbiota in Mice.


Dysbiosis of the intestinal microbiota has been shown to result in altered immune responses and increased susceptibility to infection; as such, the state of the intestinal microbiome may have profound implications in the perioperative setting. In this first-in-class study, we used 16s ribosomal RNA sequencing and analysis in a mouse model of general anesthesia to investigate the effects of volatile anesthetics on the diversity and composition of the intestinal microbiome. After 4-hour exposure to isoflurane, we observed a decrease in bacterial diversity. Taxonomic alterations included depletion of several commensal bacteria including Clostridiales. These data identify volatile anesthetics as potential contributors to microbial dysbiosis in the postoperative patient.

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