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Da Re, S, Valle, J, Charbonnel, N, Beloin, C, Latour-Lambert, P, Faure, P, Turlin, E, Le Bouguénec, C, Renauld-Mongénie, G, Forestier, C and Ghigo, JM (2013) Identification of commensal Escherichia coli genes involved in biofilm resistance to pathogen colonization. PLoS ONE 8:e61628


Protection provided by host bacterial microbiota against microbial pathogens is a well known but ill-understood property referred to as the barrier effect, or colonization resistance. Despite recent genome-wide analyses of host microbiota and increasing therapeutic interest, molecular analysis of colonization resistance is hampered by the complexity of direct in vivo experiments. Here we developed an in vitro-to-in vivo approach to identification of genes involved in resistance of commensal bacteria to exogenous pathogens. We analyzed genetic responses induced in commensal Escherichia coli upon entry of a diarrheagenic enteroaggregative E. coli or an unrelated Klebsiella pneumoniae pathogen into a biofilm community. We showed that pathogens trigger specific responses in commensal bacteria and we identified genes involved in limiting colonization of incoming pathogens within commensal biofilm. We tested the in vivo relevance of our findings by comparing the extent of intestinal colonization by enteroaggregative E. coli and K. pneumoniae pathogens in mice pre-colonized with E. coli wild type commensal strain, or mutants corresponding to identified colonization resistance genes. We demonstrated that the absence of yiaF and bssS (yceP) differentially alters pathogen colonization in the mouse gut. This study therefore identifies previously uncharacterized colonization resistance genes and provides new approaches to unravelling molecular aspects of commensal/pathogen competitive interactions.


PubMed PMC3646849 Online version:10.1371/journal.pone.0061628


Animals; Biofilms; Escherichia coli/genetics; Escherichia coli/physiology; Female; Genes, Bacterial/genetics; Klebsiella pneumoniae/physiology; Mice; Microbiota/genetics; Microbiota/physiology; Species Specificity; Symbiosis



Gene product Qualifier GO Term Evidence Code with/from Aspect Extension Notes Status



GO:0044764: multi-organism cellular process

ECO:0000315: mutant phenotype evidence used in manual assertion


Seeded From UniProt



GO:1900191: negative regulation of single-species biofilm formation



Table 4 demonstrates that Biofilm regulator BssS protein negatively regulates biofilm formation. This table illustrates that when biofilm is attacked by a pathogen and infected, the production of Biofilm regulator BssS protein or yceP protein is induced to stop further biofilm production. By regulating and halting the production of biofilm it stops the spread of the pathogen. So, therefore, we see that with BssS protein there is negative regulation in biofilm production in contrast to other proteins, which have the opposite effect on formation of biofilm, even when exposed to a pathogen.

CACAO 9862

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