Microbiota-derived hydrogen fuels Salmonella typhimurium invasion of the gut ecosystem.

TitleMicrobiota-derived hydrogen fuels Salmonella typhimurium invasion of the gut ecosystem.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsMaier, L, Vyas, R, Cordova, CD, Lindsay, H, Schmidt, TSB, Brugiroux, S, Periaswamy, B, Bauer, R, Sturm, A, Schreiber, F, von Mering, C, Robinson, MD, Stecher, B, Hardt, W-D
JournalCell Host Microbe
Date Published2013 Dec 11
KeywordsAnimals, Disease Models, Animal, DNA Transposable Elements, Gastrointestinal Tract, Hydrogen, Hydrogenase, Mice, Mutagenesis, Insertional, Salmonella Infections, Animal, Salmonella typhimurium

The intestinal microbiota features intricate metabolic interactions involving the breakdown and reuse of host- and diet-derived nutrients. The competition for these resources can limit pathogen growth. Nevertheless, some enteropathogenic bacteria can invade this niche through mechanisms that remain largely unclear. Using a mouse model for Salmonella diarrhea and a transposon mutant screen, we discovered that initial growth of Salmonella Typhimurium (S. Tm) in the unperturbed gut is powered by S. Tm hyb hydrogenase, which facilitates consumption of hydrogen (H2), a central intermediate of microbiota metabolism. In competitive infection experiments, a hyb mutant exhibited reduced growth early in infection compared to wild-type S. Tm, but these differences were lost upon antibiotic-mediated disruption of the host microbiota. Additionally, introducing H2-consuming bacteria into the microbiota interfered with hyb-dependent S. Tm growth. Thus, H2 is an Achilles' heel of microbiota metabolism that can be subverted by pathogens and might offer opportunities to prevent infection.

Alternate JournalCell Host Microbe