There is significant variability in methylmercury metabolism, which has been attributed to differences in the structure and function of the gut microbiota. This research area began in the 1970s, and has re-emerged as the availability of next generation sequencing tools become more widespread and affordable. We are currently investigating the gut microbiome among participants in our birth cohort in China.
2016-19 NIEHS: Methylmercury Exposure Through Rice Ingestion, Gut Microbes, and Offspring Development (Award R21 ES026412) (PI: Rothenberg)
Rothenberg, S.E., Keiser, S., Ajami, N.J., Wong, M.C., Gessell, J., Petrosino, J.F., Johs, A., (2016). The role of gut microbiota in fetal methylmercury exposure: insights from a pilot study. Toxicology Letters 242, 60-67. PMID: 26626101 PMCID: PMC4707065
Rothenberg, S.E., Korrick, S.A., Fayad, R., (2015). The influence of obesity on blood mercury levels for U.S. non-pregnant adults and children: NHANES 2007-2010. Environmental Research. 138, 173-180. PMID: 25721244 PMCID: PMC4385493