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Strain competition restricts colonization of an enteric pathogen and prevents colitis.


ABSTRACT: The microbiota is a major source of protection against intestinal pathogens; however, the specific bacteria and underlying mechanisms involved are not well understood. As a model of this interaction, we sought to determine whether colonization of the murine host with symbiotic non-toxigenic Bacteroides fragilis could limit acquisition of pathogenic enterotoxigenic B. fragilis We observed strain-specific competition with toxigenic B. fragilis, dependent upon type VI secretion, identifying an effector-immunity pair that confers pathogen exclusion. Resistance against host acquisition of a second non-toxigenic strain was also uncovered, revealing a broader function of type VI secretion systems in determining microbiota composition. The competitive exclusion of enterotoxigenic B. fragilis by a non-toxigenic strain limited toxin exposure and protected the host against intestinal inflammatory disease. Our studies demonstrate a novel role of type VI secretion systems in colonization resistance against a pathogen. This understanding of bacterial competition may be utilized to define a molecularly targeted probiotic strategy.

SUBMITTER: Hecht AL 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC5007561 | BioStudies | 2016-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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