Author(s): W. Utembe, N. Tlotleng, AW Kamng’ona

Source: Current Research in Microbial Sciences (2022), doi:

Abstract: Some nanomaterials (NMs) have been shown to possess antimicrobial activity and cause GM dysbiosis. Since NMs are being used widely, a systematic assessment of the effects of NMs on GM is warranted. In this systematic review, a total of 46 in vivo and 22 in vitro studies were retrieved from databases and search engines including Science-Direct, Pubmed and Google scholar. Criteria for assessment of studies included use of in vitro or in vivo studies, characterization of NMs, use of single or multiple doses as well as consistency of results. GM dysbiosis has been studied most widely on TiO2, Ag, Zn-based NMs. There was moderate evidence for GM dysbiosis caused by Zn- and Cu-based NMs, Cu-loaded chitosan NPs and Ag NMs, and anatase TiO2 NPs, as well as low evidence for SWCNTs, nanocellulose, SiO2, Se, nanoplastics, CeO2, MoO3 and graphene-based NMs. Most studies indicate adverse effects of NMs towards GM. However, more work is required to elucidate the differences on the reported 3 effects of NM by type and sex of organisms, size, shape and surface properties of NMs as well as effects of exposure to mixtures of NMs. For consistency and better agreement among studies on GM dysbiosis, there is need for internationally agreed protocols on, inter alia, characterization of NMs, dosing (amounts, frequency and duration), use of sonication, test systems (both in vitro and in vivo), including oxygen levels for in vitro models.

Keywords: Nanomaterials; gut microbiota; dysbiosis; exposure; metabolic disease