Disruption of microbial communities within human hosts has been associated with infection, obesity, cognitive decline, cancer risk and frailty, suggesting that microbiome-targeted therapies may be an option for improving healthspan and lifespan. The objectives of this study were to determine the feasibility of delivering fecal microbiota transplants (FMTs) to marmosets via oral gavage and to evaluate if alteration of the gut microbiome post-FMT could be achieved. This was a prospective study of marmosets housed at the Barshop Institute for Longevity and Aging Studies in San Antonio, Texas. Eligible animals included healthy young adult males (age 2–5 years) with no recent medication use. Stool from two donors was combined and administered in 0.5 ml doses to five young recipients once weekly for 3 weeks. Safety outcomes and alterations in the gut microbiome composition via 16S ribosomal RNA sequencing were compared at baseline and monthly up to 6 months post-FMT. Overall, significant differences in the percent relative abundance was seen in FMT recipients at the phylum and family levels from baseline to 1 month and baseline to 6 months post-FMT. In permutational multivariate analysis of variance analyses, treatment status (donor vs. recipient) (p =.056) and time course (p =.019) predicted β diversity (p =.056). The FMT recipients did not experience any negative health outcomes over the course of the treatment. FMT via oral gavage was safe to administer to young adult marmosets. The marmoset microbiome may be altered by FMT; however, progressive changes in the microbiome are strongly driven by the host and its baseline microbiome composition.
- fecal microbiota transplantation
- gut microbiota
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Animal Science and Zoology