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Science. 2018 May 18;360(6390):795-800. doi: 10.1126/science.aaq0926. Epub 2018 May 3.

Gut microbiota utilize immunoglobulin A for mucosal colonization.

Author information

1
Department of Biology and Biological Engineering, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125, USA. gdonalds@caltech.edu sarkis@caltech.edu.
2
Department of Biology and Biological Engineering, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125, USA.
3
Department of Pediatrics, University of California, San Diego, CA 92110, USA.
4
Department of Computer Science and Engineering, University of California, San Diego, CA 92093, USA.
5
Infectious Disease and Microbiome Program, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Cambridge, MA 02142, USA.
6
Department of Molecular Virology and Microbiology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030, USA.

Abstract

The immune system responds vigorously to microbial infection while permitting lifelong colonization by the microbiome. Mechanisms that facilitate the establishment and stability of the gut microbiota remain poorly described. We found that a regulatory system in the prominent human commensal Bacteroides fragilis modulates its surface architecture to invite binding of immunoglobulin A (IgA) in mice. Specific immune recognition facilitated bacterial adherence to cultured intestinal epithelial cells and intimate association with the gut mucosal surface in vivo. The IgA response was required for B. fragilis (and other commensal species) to occupy a defined mucosal niche that mediates stable colonization of the gut through exclusion of exogenous competitors. Therefore, in addition to its role in pathogen clearance, we propose that IgA responses can be co-opted by the microbiome to engender robust host-microbial symbiosis.

PMID:
29724905
PMCID:
PMC5973787
DOI:
10.1126/science.aaq0926
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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