• Instances of altered gut microbiomes among Irish cricketers over periods of travel in the lead up to the 2016 World Cup: A sequencing analysis

      O'Donovan, Ciara M.; Connor, Brendan; Madigan, Sharon; Cotter, Paul D.; O'Sullivan, Orla; Science Foundation Ireland; SFI/12/RC/2273; 13/SIRG/2160; 11/PI/1137 (Elsevier, 2020-01-11)
      BackgroundChanges and stresses experienced during travel have the potential to impact the gut microbiome, with travel implicated in the spread of antibiotic resistance genes across continents. The possibility of gut microbiome-mediated negative impacts arising from travel, and consequences for peak performance, would be of particular concern for elite athletes. MethodsFaecal samples were collected from male (N = 14) and female (N = 7) cricket players during the build-up to the 2016 Cricket World Cup. Baseline and post-travel samples were collected from all participants and subjected to 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing. Samples from a subset of participants (N = 4) were also analysed by shotgun metagenomic sequencing. ResultsAnalysis revealed a single travel time point as having the potential to have an impact on the gut microbiome. Reductions in alpha diversity following travel were observed, accompanied by shifts in the taxonomic profile of the gut microbiome. Antibiotic resistance and virulence genes were also identified as undergoing changes following travel. ConclusionsThis study reveals that periods of travel, in particular following gastrointestinal distress, may result in gut microbiome disruption. While this analysis was completed in athletes, the findings are applicable to all travelling individuals and considerations should be made surrounding travel in an attempt to reduce these changes.