Publication Date



Communications in Biology


Chronic multisymptom illness (CMI) affects a subsection of elderly and war Veterans and is associated with systemic inflammation. Here, using a mouse model of CMI and a group of Gulf War (GW) Veterans' with CMI we show the presence of an altered host resistome. Results show that antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) are significantly altered in the CMI group in both mice and GW Veterans when compared to control. Fecal samples from GW Veterans with persistent CMI show a significant increase of resistance to a wide class of antibiotics and exhibited an array of mobile genetic elements (MGEs) distinct from normal healthy controls. The altered resistome and gene signature is correlated with mouse serum IL-6 levels. Altered resistome in mice also is correlated strongly with intestinal inflammation, decreased synaptic plasticity, reversible with fecal microbiota transplant (FMT). The results reported might help in understanding the risks to treating hospital acquired infections in this population.


Aged, Chronic Disease, Gulf War, Humans, Inflammation, Veterans



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