Regulated virulence controls the ability of a pathogen to compete with the gut microbiota

Nobuhiko Kamada, Yungi Kim, Ho Pan Sham, Bruce A. Vallance, José L. Puente, Eric C. Martens, Gabriel Núñez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

277 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The virulence mechanisms that allow pathogens to colonize the intestine remain unclear. Here, we show that germ-free animals are unable to eradicate Citrobacter rodentium, a model for human infections with attaching and effacing bacteria. Early in infection, virulence genes were expressed and required for pathogen growth in conventionally raised mice but not germ-free mice. Virulence gene expression was down-regulated during the late phase of infection, which led to relocation of the pathogen to the intestinal lumen where it was outcompeted by commensals. The ability of commensals to outcompete C. rodentium was determined, at least in part, by the capacity of the pathogen and commensals to grow on structurally similar carbohydrates. Thus, pathogen colonization is controlled by bacterial virulence and through competition with metabolically related commensals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1325-1329
Number of pages5
JournalScience
Volume336
Issue number6086
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Jun 8
Externally publishedYes

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Virulence
Citrobacter rodentium
Infection
Intestines
Carbohydrates
Bacteria
Gene Expression
Gastrointestinal Microbiome
Growth
Genes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

Cite this

Kamada, N., Kim, Y., Sham, H. P., Vallance, B. A., Puente, J. L., Martens, E. C., & Núñez, G. (2012). Regulated virulence controls the ability of a pathogen to compete with the gut microbiota. Science, 336(6086), 1325-1329. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1222195

Regulated virulence controls the ability of a pathogen to compete with the gut microbiota. / Kamada, Nobuhiko; Kim, Yungi; Sham, Ho Pan; Vallance, Bruce A.; Puente, José L.; Martens, Eric C.; Núñez, Gabriel.

In: Science, Vol. 336, No. 6086, 08.06.2012, p. 1325-1329.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Kamada, N, Kim, Y, Sham, HP, Vallance, BA, Puente, JL, Martens, EC & Núñez, G 2012, 'Regulated virulence controls the ability of a pathogen to compete with the gut microbiota', Science, vol. 336, no. 6086, pp. 1325-1329. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1222195
Kamada N, Kim Y, Sham HP, Vallance BA, Puente JL, Martens EC et al. Regulated virulence controls the ability of a pathogen to compete with the gut microbiota. Science. 2012 Jun 8;336(6086):1325-1329. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1222195
Kamada, Nobuhiko ; Kim, Yungi ; Sham, Ho Pan ; Vallance, Bruce A. ; Puente, José L. ; Martens, Eric C. ; Núñez, Gabriel. / Regulated virulence controls the ability of a pathogen to compete with the gut microbiota. In: Science. 2012 ; Vol. 336, No. 6086. pp. 1325-1329.
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