The incidence of urinary stone disease (USD) has increased four-fold in 50 years. Oxalate, which is degraded exclusively by gut bacteria, is an important constituent in 80% of urinary stones. We quantified the effects of antibiotics and a high fat/high sugar (HFHS) diet on the microbial metabolism of oxalate in the gut. High and low oxalate-degrading mouse models were developed by administering fecal transplants from either the wild mammalian rodent Neotoma albigula or Swiss-Webster mice to Swiss-Webster mice, which produces a microbiota with or without the bacteria necessary for persistent oxalate metabolism, respectively. Antibiotics led to an acute loss of both transplant bacteria and associated oxalate metabolism. Transplant bacteria exhibited some recovery over time but oxalate metabolism did not. In contrast, a HFHS diet led to an acute loss of function coupled with a gradual loss of transplant bacteria, indicative of a shift in overall microbial metabolism.
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