Mortaş H, Bilici S, Karakan T. The circadian disruption of night work alters gut microbiota consistent with elevated risk for future metabolic and gastrointestinal pathology [published online ahead of print, 2020 Jun 30]. Chronobiol Int. 2020;1-15. doi:10.1080/07420528.2020.1778717
Day and night cycles are the most important cue for the central clock of human beings, and they are also important for the gut clock. The aim of the study is to determine the differences in the gut microbiota of rotational shift workers when working the day versus night shift. Fecal samples and other data were collected from 10 volunteer male security officers after 4 weeks of day shift work (07:00-15:00 h) and also after 2 weeks of night shift work (23:00-07:00 h). In total, 20 stool samples were collected for analysis of gut microbiota (10 subjects x 2 work shifts) and stored at -80°C until analysis by 16 S rRNA sequencing. The relative abundances of Bacteroidetes were reduced and those of Actinobacteria and Firmicutes increased when working the night compared to day shift. Faecalibacterium abundance was found to be a biomarker of the day shift work. Dorea longicatena and Dorea formicigenerans were significantly more abundant in individuals when working the night shift. Rotational day and night shift work causes circadian rhythm disturbance with an associated alteration in the abundances of gut microbiota, leading to the concern that such induced alteration of gut microbiota may at least partially contribute to an increased risk of future metabolic syndrome and gastrointestinal pathology.