MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Andreas J. Bäumler, Ph.D
Editor, Infection and Immunity
Associate Editor, PLOS Pathogens
Section Editor, EcoSal Plus
Professor, Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology
Vice Chair of Research
University of California, Davis School of Medicine
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Dr. Bäumler: Antibiotics are generally beneficial for treating bacterial infection, but paradoxically a history of antibiotic therapy is a risk factor for developing Salmonella food poisoning. Our study reveals the mechanism by which antibiotics increase susceptibility to Salmonella infection.
Antibiotics deplete beneficial microbes from the gut, which normally provide nutrition to the cells lining our large bowel, termed epithelial cells. Depletion of microbe-derived nutrients causes our epithelial cells to switch their energy metabolism from respiration to fermentation, which in turn increases the availability of oxygen at the epithelial surface. The resulting increase in oxygen diffusion into the gut lumen drives a luminal expansion of Salmonella by respiration. Through this mechanism, antibiotics help Salmonella to breath in the gut.
MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?
Dr. Bäumler: Our large bowel is populated by a diverse microbial community composed of bacteria that cannot respire oxygen, called obligate anaerobes. The take home message from our study is that antibiotics can increase oxygen availability in the large bowel, thereby promoting an bloom of bacteria that can respire oxygen. The resulting imbalance in the microbial community can have adverse effects on the host.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
Dr. Bäumler: Future research should investigate whether regulators of epithelial cell energy metabolism could be useful targets for intervention strategies to limit unwanted side-effects of antibiotic therapy.
MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add?
Dr. Bäumler: Thank you for selecting our paper for an interview.
MedicalResearch.com: Thank you for your contribution to the MedicalResearch.com community.
Fabian Rivera-Chávez, Lillian F. Zhang, Franziska Faber, Christopher A. Lopez, Mariana X. Byndloss, Erin E. Olsan, Gege Xu, Eric M. Velazquez, Carlito B. Lebrilla, Sebastian E. Winter, Andreas J. Bäumler.
Depletion of Butyrate-Producing Clostridia from the Gut Microbiota Drives an Aerobic Luminal Expansion of Salmonella. Cell Host & Microbe, 2016; 19 (4): 443 DOI: 1016/j.chom.2016.03.004
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