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Cell Host Microbe. 2016 Apr 13;19(4):550-9. doi: 10.1016/j.chom.2016.02.021. Epub 2016 Mar 24.

Host Selection of Microbiota via Differential Adhesion.

Author information

1
Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3PS, UK.
2
Computational Biology Program, Sloan Kettering Institute, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY 10065, USA.
3
Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, Boston Children's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, 300 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115, USA.
4
Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3PS, UK; Oxford Centre for Integrative Systems Biology, University of Oxford, South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3PS, UK. Electronic address: kevin.foster@zoo.ox.ac.uk.

Abstract

The host epithelium is the critical interface with microbial communities, but the mechanisms by which the host regulates these communities are poorly understood. Here we develop the hypothesis that hosts use differential adhesion to select for and against particular members of their microbiota. We use an established computational, individual-based model to study the impact of host factors that regulate adhesion at the epithelial surface. Our simulations predict that host-mediated adhesion can increase the competitive advantage of microbes and create ecological refugia for slow-growing species. We show how positive selection via adhesion can be transformed into negative selection if the host secretes large quantities of a matrix such as mucus. Our work predicts that adhesion is a powerful mechanism for both positive and negative selection within the microbiota. We discuss molecules-mucus glycans and IgA-that affect microbe adhesion and identify testable predictions of the adhesion-as-selection model.

PMID:
27053168
DOI:
10.1016/j.chom.2016.02.021
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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