The microbiome, i.e., the communities of microbes that inhabit the surfaces exposed to the external environment, participates in the regulation of host physiology, including the immune response against pathogens. At the same time, the immune response shapes the microbiome to regulate its composition and function. How the crosstalk between the immune system and the microbiome regulates the response to fungal infection has remained relatively unexplored. We have previously shown that strict anaerobes protect from infection with the opportunistic fungus Aspergillus fumigatus by counteracting the expansion of pathogenic Proteobacteria. By resorting to immunodeficient mouse strains, we found that the lung microbiota could compensate for the lack of B and T lymphocytes in Rag1–/– mice by skewing the composition towards an increased abundance of protective anaerobes such as Clostridia and Bacteroidota. Conversely, NSG mice, with major defects in both the innate and adaptive immune response, showed an increased susceptibility to infection associated with a low abundance of strict anaerobes and the expansion of Proteobacteria. Further exploration in a murine model of chronic granulomatous disease, a primary form of immunodeficiency characterized by defective phagocyte NADPH oxidase, confirms the association of lung unbalance between anaerobes and Proteobacteria and the susceptibility to aspergillosis. Consistent changes in the lung levels of short-chain fatty acids between the different strains support the conclusion that the immune system and the microbiota are functionally intertwined during Aspergillus infection and determine the outcome of the infection.

A shifted composition of the lung microbiota conditions the antifungal response of immunodeficient mice

Nunzi E.;Renga G.;Palmieri M.;Pariano M.;Stincardini C.;D'onofrio F.;Santarelli I.;Bellet M. M.;Bartoli A.;Costantini C.
;
Romani L.
2021

Abstract

The microbiome, i.e., the communities of microbes that inhabit the surfaces exposed to the external environment, participates in the regulation of host physiology, including the immune response against pathogens. At the same time, the immune response shapes the microbiome to regulate its composition and function. How the crosstalk between the immune system and the microbiome regulates the response to fungal infection has remained relatively unexplored. We have previously shown that strict anaerobes protect from infection with the opportunistic fungus Aspergillus fumigatus by counteracting the expansion of pathogenic Proteobacteria. By resorting to immunodeficient mouse strains, we found that the lung microbiota could compensate for the lack of B and T lymphocytes in Rag1–/– mice by skewing the composition towards an increased abundance of protective anaerobes such as Clostridia and Bacteroidota. Conversely, NSG mice, with major defects in both the innate and adaptive immune response, showed an increased susceptibility to infection associated with a low abundance of strict anaerobes and the expansion of Proteobacteria. Further exploration in a murine model of chronic granulomatous disease, a primary form of immunodeficiency characterized by defective phagocyte NADPH oxidase, confirms the association of lung unbalance between anaerobes and Proteobacteria and the susceptibility to aspergillosis. Consistent changes in the lung levels of short-chain fatty acids between the different strains support the conclusion that the immune system and the microbiota are functionally intertwined during Aspergillus infection and determine the outcome of the infection.
2021
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11391/1501796
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