Deprivation of dietary fiber in specific-pathogen-free mice promotes susceptibility to the intestinal mucosal pathogen Citrobacter rodentium

Mareike Neumann, Alex Steimle, Erica Grant, Mathis Wolter, Amy Parrish, Stéphanie Willieme, Dirk Brenner, Eric C. Martens, Mahesh S. Desai*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The change of dietary habits in Western societies, including reduced consumption of fiber, is linked to alterations in gut microbial ecology. Nevertheless, mechanistic connections between diet-induced microbiota changes that affect colonization resistance and enteric pathogen susceptibility are still emerging. We sought to investigate how a diet devoid of soluble plant fibers impacts the structure and function of a conventional gut microbiota in specific-pathogen-free (SPF) mice and how such changes alter susceptibility to a rodent enteric pathogen. We show that absence of dietary fiber intake leads to shifts in the abundances of specific taxa, microbiome-mediated erosion of the colonic mucus barrier, a reduction of intestinal barrier-promoting short-chain fatty acids, and increases in markers of mucosal barrier integrity disruption. Importantly, our results highlight that these low-fiber diet-induced changes in the gut microbial ecology collectively contribute to a lethal colitis by the mucosal pathogen Citrobacter rodentium, which is used as a mouse model for enteropathogenic and enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EPEC and EHEC, respectively). Our study indicates that modern, low-fiber Western-style diets might make individuals more prone to infection by enteric pathogens via the disruption of mucosal barrier integrity by diet-driven changes in the gut microbiota, illustrating possible implications for EPEC and EHEC infections.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1966263
Pages (from-to)1966263
JournalGut Microbes
Volume13
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 18 Sep 2021

Keywords

  • Microbiome
  • SPF mice
  • citrobacter rodentium
  • dietary fiber
  • mucin
  • mucus layer

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Deprivation of dietary fiber in specific-pathogen-free mice promotes susceptibility to the intestinal mucosal pathogen Citrobacter rodentium'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this