Gut microbiota composition can modulate neuroendocrine function, inflammation, and cellular and immunological responses against different pathogens, including viruses. Zika virus (ZIKV) can infect adult immunocompetent individuals and trigger brain damage and antiviral responses. However, it is not known whether ZIKV infection could impact the gut microbiome from adult immunocompetent mice. Here, we investigated modifications induced by ZIKV infection in the gut microbiome of immunocompetent C57BL/6J mice. Adult C57BL/6J mice were infected with ZIKV and the gut microbiota composition was analyzed by next-generation sequencing of the V4 hypervariable region present in the bacterial 16S rDNA gene. Our data showed that ZIKV infection triggered a significant decrease in the bacteria belonging to Actinobacteria and Firmicutes phyla, and increased Deferribacteres and Spirochaetes phyla components compared to uninfected mice. Interestingly, ZIKV infection triggered a significant increase in the abundance of bacteria from the Spirochaetaceae family in the gut microbiota. Lastly, we demonstrated that modulation of microbiota induced by ZIKV infection may lead to intestinal epithelium damage and intense leukocyte recruitment to the intestinal mucosa. Taken together, our data demonstrate that ZIKV infection can impact the gut microbiota composition and colon tissue homeostasis in adult immunocompetent mice.
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