A Genomic Island of an Extraintestinal Pathogenic Escherichia coli Strain Enables the Metabolism of Fructooligosaccharides Which Improves Intestinal Colonization Article - 2009

Catherine Schouler, Ahmed Taki, Iman Chouikha, Maryvonne Moulin-Schouleur, Philippe Gilot

Catherine Schouler, Ahmed Taki, Iman Chouikha, Maryvonne Moulin-Schouleur, Philippe Gilot, « A Genomic Island of an Extraintestinal Pathogenic Escherichia coli Strain Enables the Metabolism of Fructooligosaccharides Which Improves Intestinal Colonization  », Journal of Bacteriology, 2009, pp. 388-393. ISSN 0021-9193

Abstract

Prebiotics such as fructooligosaccharides (FOS) are increasingly being used in some countries for improving human and animal health and as an alternative to antibiotic growth promoters in animals, with various degrees of success. It has been observed that FOS stimulate the proliferation of probiotic bacteria and, at the same time, decrease the population of bacteria associated with disease. This observation assumes that pathogenic bacteria do not metabolize FOS and, therefore, lose their competitive advantage over beneficial bacteria. Here we present evidence that some pathogenic Escherichia coli strains can metabolize FOS and show that this property helps the bacterium colonize the intestine. These findings highlight the potential risk that a high level of prebiotic usage could lead to the emergence of well-adapted pathogenic strains that metabolize prebiotic substances.

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