Doxycycline induces dysbiosis in female C57BL/6NCrl mice

Felicia D.Duke Boynton, Aaron C. Ericsson, Mayu Uchihashi, Misha L. Dunbar, J. Erby Wilkinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: This study aims to demonstrate the effect of oral doxycycline on fecal microbiota of mice. Doxycycline is a common effector for control of gene expression using the tet-inducible system in transgenic mice. The effect of oral doxycycline on murine gut microbiota has not been reported. We evaluated the effect of doxycycline treatment by sequencing the V4 hypervariable region of the 16S rRNA gene from fecal samples collected during a 4 week course of treatment at a dose of 2 mg/ml in the drinking water. Results: The fecal microbiota of treated animals were distinct from control animals; the decreased richness and diversity were characterized primarily by Bacteroides sp. enrichment. These effects persisted when the treatment was temporarily discontinued for 1 week. These data suggest that doxycycline treatment can induce significant dysbiosis, and its effects should be considered when used in animal models that are or maybe sensitive to perturbation of the gut microbiota.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number644
JournalBMC Research Notes
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 29 2017


  • Animal model
  • Doxycycline
  • Microbiome
  • Microbiota
  • Mouse
  • Tet-off
  • Tet-on

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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