Research Paper Volume 11, Issue 7 pp 2071—2081

Early-life vancomycin treatment promotes airway inflammation and impairs microbiome homeostasis

Xin Yang1, , Hanrong Feng2, , Xueqin Zhan1, , Chao Zhang2,3, , Rui Cui2, , Lijia Zhong1, , Songmin Ying2, , Zhimin Chen1, ,

  • 1 Department of Pulmonology, Children’s Hospital, Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Hangzhou, China
  • 2 Department of Pharmacology and Key Laboratory of Respiratory Disease of Zhejiang Province, Department of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, Second Affiliated Hospital, Institute of Respiratory Diseases, Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Hangzhou, China
  • 3 Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, School of Medicine, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China

Received: November 20, 2018       Accepted: March 31, 2019       Published: April 13, 2019
How to Cite

Copyright: Yang et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Several studies have reported that gut and lung microbiomes are involved in the process of asthma pathogenesis. However, it remains unclear how perinatal or early-life antibiotic intervention affect adult allergic airway inflammation. We assigned C57BL/6 mice randomly to four experimental groups: normal saline control (NS), ovalbumin (OVA), vancomycin pretreated NS (VAN-NS), and vancomycin pretreated OVA (VAN-OVA). The vancomycin groups were orally given the drug from gestational day 14 to 6 week. An OVA-induced asthma model was then established at 6 weeks of age, and airway inflammation was evaluated. In addition, total DNA was extracted from the feces and lung tissue and used for 16S rDNA gene sequencing, to detect the composition of the microbiome. In the VAN-OVA group, airway inflammation and Th2-related cytokines were found to be significantly increased versus the control groups. Gene sequencing showed that vancomycin treatment attenuated the richness and evenness, and altered the composition of the microbiome in the gut and lung. Micrococcaceae and Clostridiaceae-1 were potentially correlated to the severity of allergic airway inflammation. Our study suggests that perinatal and early-life vancomycin intervention aggravates allergic inflammation in adulthood, which might be correlated with imbalanced gut and lung microbiome homeostasis.


OVA: ovalbumin; BALF: bronchoalveolar lavage fluid; AHR: airway hyper-responsiveness; H&E: hematoxylin /eosin; PAS: periodic acid-Schiff; Q-PCR: quantitative real-time PCR.