Understanding the impact of long-term physiological and environmental stress on the human microbiota and metabolome may be important for the success of space flight. This work is logistically difficult and has a limited number of available participants. Terrestrial analogies present important opportunities to understand changes in the microbiota and metabolome and how this may impact participant health and fitness. Here, we present work from one such analogy: the Transarctic Winter Traverse expedition, which we believe is the first assessment of the microbiota and metabolome from different bodily locations during prolonged environmental and physiological stress. Bacterial load and diversity were significantly higher during the expedition when compared with baseline levels ( p < 0.001) in saliva but not stool, and only a single operational taxonomic unit assigned to the Ruminococcaceae family shows significantly altered levels in stool ( p < 0.001). Metabolite fingerprints show the maintenance of individual differences across saliva, stool, and plasma samples when analysed using flow infusion electrospray mass spectrometry and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. Significant activity-associated changes in terms of both bacterial diversity and load are seen in saliva but not in stool, and participant differences in metabolite fingerprints persist across all three sample types.
|Journal||International Journal of Molecular Sciences|
|Publication status||Published - 02 Mar 2023|