The human gut microbiome plays key roles in health and disease. Although diet is a major driver of the microbiota physiology, the gut microbiota-mediated mechanisms that link diet to intestinal disorders and enteric infections are poorly understood. Our work is focused on discerning these mechanisms and underlying eco-immunological processes via colonic mucus barrier−gut microbiota interactions. Since the modern diet of developed countries includes significantly reduced dietary fiber, we seek to understand how a fiber-deprived gut microbiota impacts human health.
- Prof. Eric Martens, University of Michigan, USA
- Prof. Gabriel Nunez, University of Michigan, USA
- Prof. Bruce R. Hamaker, Purdue University, USA
Using gnotobiotic mouse models containing fully characterized human gut bacterial communities, we inted to:
- Study how a fiber-deprived gut microbiota resorts to host-secreted mucin glycoproteins leading to erosion of the colonic mucus barrier
- Investigate host immune regulation in response to the fiber-deprived gut-microbiota-mediated erosion of the colonic mucus layer
- Examine changes in host susceptibility to an intestinal pathogen (Citrobacter rodentium) during microbiota-mediated erosion of the colonic mucus layer
- Design and test practicable prebiotic diets in order to maintain populations of fiber-degrading bacteria
Interactions of commensal and pathogenic microorganisms with the intestinal mucosal barrier.
- Eco-Immunology and Microbiome