Format

Send to

Choose Destination
PLoS One. 2013 Sep 10;8(9):e74026. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0074026. eCollection 2013.

Small intestinal nematode infection of mice is associated with increased enterobacterial loads alongside the intestinal tract.

Author information

1
Institute of Immunology, Department of Veterinary Medicine, Freie Universität, Berlin, Germany.

Abstract

Parasitic nematodes are potent modulators of immune reactivity in mice and men. Intestinal nematodes live in close contact with commensal gut bacteria, provoke biased Th2 immune responses upon infection, and subsequently lead to changes in gut physiology. We hypothesized that murine nematode infection is associated with distinct changes of the intestinal bacterial microbiota composition. We here studied intestinal inflammatory and immune responses in mice following infection with the hookworm Heligmosomoides polygyrus bakeri and applied cultural and molecular techniques to quantitatively assess intestinal microbiota changes in the ileum, cecum and colon. At day 14 post nematode infection, mice harbored significantly higher numbers of γ-Proteobacteria/Enterobacteriaceae and members of the Bacteroides/Prevotella group in their cecum as compared to uninfected controls. Abundance of Gram-positive species such as Lactobacilli, Clostridia as well as the total bacterial load was not affected by worm infection. The altered microbiota composition was independent of the IL-4/-13 - STAT6 signaling axis, as infected IL-4Rα(-/-) mice showed a similar increase in enterobacterial loads. In conclusion, infection with an enteric nematode is accompanied by distinct intestinal microbiota changes towards higher abundance of gram-negative commensal species at the small intestinal site of infection (and inflammation), but also in the parasite-free large intestinal tract. Further studies should unravel the impact of nematode-induced microbiota changes in inflammatory bowel disease to allow for a better understanding of how theses parasites interfere with intestinal inflammation and bacterial communities in men.

PMID:
24040152
PMCID:
PMC3769368
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0074026
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Public Library of Science Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center