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Sci Rep. 2018 May 17;8(1):7788. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-26083-3.

Early Salmonella Typhimurium infection in pigs disrupts Microbiome composition and functionality principally at the ileum mucosa.

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Grupo de Genómica y Mejora Animal, Departamento de Genética, Facultad de Veterinaria, Universidad de Córdoba, 14047, Córdoba, Spain.
GABI, INRA, AgroParisTech, Université Paris-Saclay, 78350, Jouy-en-Josas, France.
Grupo de Genómica y Mejora Animal, Departamento de Genética, Facultad de Veterinaria, Universidad de Córdoba, 14047, Córdoba, Spain.
Departamento de Sanidad Animal, Facultad de Veterinaria, Universidad de León, 24071, León, Spain.
Departamento de Química Analítica Universidad de Córdoba, Córdoba, CeiA3 Campus de Excelencia Agroalimentaria, Universidad de Córdoba, 14047, Córdoba, Spain.
Teagasc, Food Research Centre, Moorepark, Fermoy, Co., Cork, Ireland.
APC Microbiome Institute, Cork, Ireland.


Salmonella is a major foodborne pathogen which successfully infects animal species for human consumption such as swine. The pathogen has a battery of virulence factors which it uses to colonise and persist within the host. The host microbiota may play a role in resistance to, and may also be indirectly responsible from some of the consequences of, Salmonella infection. To investigate this, we used 16S rRNA metagenomic sequencing to determine the changes in the gut microbiota of pigs in response to infection by Salmonella Typhimurium at three locations: ileum mucosa, ileum content and faeces. Early infection (2 days post-infection) impacted on the microbiome diversity at the mucosa, reflected in a decrease in representatives of the generally regarded as desirable genera (i.e., Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus). Severe damage in the epithelium of the ileum mucosa correlated with an increase in synergistic (with respect to Salmonella infection; Akkermansia) or opportunistically pathogenic bacteria (Citrobacter) and a depletion in anaerobic bacteria (Clostridium spp., Ruminococcus, or Dialliser). Predictive functional analysis, together with metabolomic analysis revealed changes in glucose and lipid metabolism in infected pigs. The observed changes in commensal healthy microbiota, including the growth of synergistic or potentially pathogenic bacteria and depletion of beneficial or competing bacteria, could contribute to the pathogen's ability to colonize the gut successfully. The findings from this study could be used to form the basis for further research aimed at creating intervention strategies to mitigate the effects of Salmonella infection.

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