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Gut Microbes. 2010 Jan;1(1):30-41.

Salmonella SPI-1-mediated neutrophil recruitment during enteric colitis is associated with reduction and alteration in intestinal microbiota.


Gastrointestinal infections involve an interactive tripartite relationship between the invading pathogen, the host, and the host's resident intestinal microbiota. To characterize the host inflammatory response and microbiota alterations during enteric salmonellosis, C57BL/6 mice were pre-treated with a low dose of streptomycin (LD model) and then infected with S. typhimurium strains, including mutants in the two Type III secretion systems, SPI-1 and SPI-2 (invAmut and ssaRmut, respectively). Cecal colonization and inflammation in the LD model were evaluated to assess infection success and progression, and compared to the traditional high dose (HD) model. Perturbations to the microbial community in the LD model were assessed via evaluation of total microbial numbers, the proportion of intestinal γ-Proteobacteria and tRFLP analysis. In the LD model, consistently high colonization by the parental strain (WT) and invAmut S. typhimurium was associated with significant intestinal pathology. However, microbial community profiles were more similar both in numbers and composition between mice infected with the mutant strains, than with the WT strain. Consequently, significant infection-induced inflammation did not always produce similar microbiota perturbations. Large numbers of luminal neutrophils were observed in the ceca of WT-infected, but not in invAmut or ssaRmut infected mice. Neutrophils were thus implicated as a potential mediator of microbiota perturbations during WT enteric salmonellosis. These studies offer a new model of S. typhimurium-induced intestinal disease that retains the three participants of the disease process and further defines the role of virulence factors, the host microbiota, and inflammation in S. typhimurium-induced intestinal disease.

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