Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
, 469 (7331), 543-7

Bifidobacteria Can Protect From Enteropathogenic Infection Through Production of Acetate


Bifidobacteria Can Protect From Enteropathogenic Infection Through Production of Acetate

Shinji Fukuda et al. Nature.


The human gut is colonized with a wide variety of microorganisms, including species, such as those belonging to the bacterial genus Bifidobacterium, that have beneficial effects on human physiology and pathology. Among the most distinctive benefits of bifidobacteria are modulation of host defence responses and protection against infectious diseases. Nevertheless, the molecular mechanisms underlying these effects have barely been elucidated. To investigate these mechanisms, we used mice associated with certain bifidobacterial strains and a simplified model of lethal infection with enterohaemorrhagic Escherichia coli O157:H7, together with an integrated 'omics' approach. Here we show that genes encoding an ATP-binding-cassette-type carbohydrate transporter present in certain bifidobacteria contribute to protecting mice against death induced by E. coli O157:H7. We found that this effect can be attributed, at least in part, to increased production of acetate and that translocation of the E. coli O157:H7 Shiga toxin from the gut lumen to the blood was inhibited. We propose that acetate produced by protective bifidobacteria improves intestinal defence mediated by epithelial cells and thereby protects the host against lethal infection.

Similar articles

See all similar articles

Cited by 506 articles

See all "Cited by" articles


    1. Nature. 2009 Oct 29;461(7268):1282-6 - PubMed
    1. Gastroenterology. 2006 Feb;130(2 Suppl 1):S100-5 - PubMed
    1. PLoS Biol. 2006 Nov;4(12):e413 - PubMed
    1. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2002 Oct 29;99(22):14422-7 - PubMed
    1. J Mol Microbiol Biotechnol. 2007;12(1-2):9-19 - PubMed

Publication types