Scientific reports

Administration of defined microbiota is protective in a murine Salmonella infection model.

PMID 26531327


Salmonella typhimurium is a major cause of diarrhea and causes significant morbidity and mortality worldwide, and perturbations of the gut microbiota are known to increase susceptibility to enteric infections. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether a Microbial Ecosystem Therapeutic (MET-1) consisting of 33 bacterial strains, isolated from human stool and previously used to cure patients with recurrent Clostridium difficile infection, could also protect against S. typhimurium disease. C57BL/6 mice were pretreated with streptomycin prior to receiving MET-1 or control, then gavaged with S. typhimurium. Weight loss, serum cytokine levels, and S. typhimurium splenic translocation were measured. NF-κB nuclear staining, neutrophil accumulation, and localization of tight junction proteins (claudin-1, ZO-1) were visualized by immunofluorescence. Infected mice receiving MET-1 lost less weight, had reduced serum cytokines, reduced NF-κB nuclear staining, and decreased neutrophil infiltration in the cecum. MET-1 also preserved cecum tight junction protein expression, and reduced S. typhimurium translocation to the spleen. Notably, MET-1 did not decrease CFUs of Salmonella in the intestine. MET-1 may attenuate systemic infection by preserving tight junctions, thereby inhibiting S. typhimurium from gaining access to the systemic circulation. We conclude that MET-1 may be protective against enteric infections besides C. difficile infection.