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Cell Host Microbe. 2007 Sep 13;2(3):204.

Host-mediated inflammation disrupts the intestinal microbiota and promotes the overgrowth of Enterobacteriaceae.

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  • 1Michael Smith Laboratories, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4, Canada.


While the normal microbiota has been implicated as a critical defense against invading pathogens, the impact of enteropathogenic infection and host inflammation on intestinal microbial communities has not been elucidated. Using mouse models of Citrobacter rodentium, which closely mimics human diarrheal pathogens inducing host intestinal inflammation, and Campylobacter jejuni infection, as well as chemically and genetically induced models of intestinal inflammation, we demonstrate that host-mediated inflammation in response to an infecting agent, a chemical trigger, or genetic predisposition markedly alters the colonic microbial community. While eliminating a subset of indigenous microbiota, host-mediated inflammation supported the growth of either the resident or introduced aerobic bacteria, particularly of the Enterobacteriaceae family. Further, assault by an enteropathogen and host-mediated inflammation combined to significantly reduce the total numbers of resident colonic bacteria. These findings underscore the importance of intestinal microbial ecosystems in infectious colitis and noninfectious intestinal inflammatory conditions,such as inflammatory bowel disease.

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