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TB lung infection causes changes in the diversity of gut bacteria in mice
Date:5/13/2014

have a complex relationship with the immune system, according to Winglee. For example, individuals with arthritis, type 2 diabetes, asthma and certain other diseases have specific changes in the populations of their fecal bacteria compared to healthy people, she explains. "However, there have been very few studies focused on changes in gut bacteria in response to TB infection, especially in individuals whose gut bacterial diversity hasn't already been artificially affected by antibiotics," she says.

To study the effect of TB infection on gut bacteria, the researchers infected mice with M. tuberculosis using an aerosol machine that deposited the bacteria into their lungs. The researchers then studied the various populations of bacteria in the gut until the mice died. They compared samples collected after infection with gut bacteria samples taken before infection to identify the changes in populations. The researchers used genetic and statistical techniques to determine the numbers of species present and their abundance. TB infection caused a decrease in diversity of bacteria in the gut of all mice after infection, followed by a recovery in diversity, until death or one week prior to death.

For example, the relative abundance of a different species of bacteria belonging to two families higher-level groups that contain various species called Lachnospiraceae and Ruminococcaceae were higher before TB infection; they were also higher in uninfected mice. Other changes in populations of various species of gut bacteria also contributed to a decrease in diversity, as some bacteria become more prevalent while the population of others dwindled.

"Since TB bacteria were usually not found in the guts of the mice we studied, we believe that the changes in overall bacterial diversity are not caused by their presence there," Winglee says. "Instead, since the span of time when there was a minimum of diversity among bacterial populations that coinc
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Contact: Stephanie Desmon
sdesmon1@jhmi.edu
410-955-8665
Johns Hopkins Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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