Supplementary Material for: The Role of Antibiotics in Gut Microbiota Modulation: The Eubiotic Effects of Rifaximin

Antibiotics are mainly used in clinical practice for their activity against pathogens, but they also alter the composition of commensal gut microbial community. Rifaximin is a non-absorbable antibiotic with additional effects on the gut microbiota about which very little is known. It is still not clear to what extent rifaximin can be able to modulate gut microbiota composition and diversity in different clinical settings. Studies based on culture-dependent techniques revealed that rifaximin treatment promotes the growth of beneficial bacteria, such as Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli. Accordingly, our metagenomic analysis carried out on patients with different gastrointestinal and liver diseases highlighted a significant increase in Lactobacilli after rifaximin treatment, persisting in the short time period. This result was independent of the disease background and was not accompanied by a significant alteration of the overall gut microbial ecology. This suggests that rifaximin can exert important eubiotic effects independently of the original disease, producing a favorable gut microbiota perturbation without changing its overall composition and diversity.