Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) including Crohn's disease (CD), and ulcerative colitis (UC), are chronic conditions characterized by chronic intestinal inflammation. Adherent invasive Escherichia coli (AIEC) pathotype has been increasingly implicated in the etiopathogenesis of IBD. In a 21-day study, we investigated the effects of AIEC strain UM146 inoculation on microbiota profile of the ileal, cecal, ascending and descending colon in a pig model of experimental colitis. Carrageenan gum (CG) was used to induce colitis in weaner piglets whereas AIEC strain UM146 previously isolated from a CD patient was included to investigate a cause or consequence effect in IBD. Treatments were: (1) control; (2) CG; (3) AIEC strain UM146; and (4) CG+UM146. Pigs in groups 2 and 4 received 1% CG in drinking water from day 1 of the study while pigs in groups 3 and 4 were inoculated with UM146 on day 8. Following euthanization on day 21, tissue mucosal scrapings were collected and used for DNA extraction. The V4 region of bacterial 16S rRNA gene was then subjected to Illumina sequencing. Microbial diversity, composition, and the predicted functional metagenome were determined in addition to short chain fatty acids profiles in the digesta and inflammatory cytokines in the intestinal tissue. CG-induced colitis decreased bacterial species richness and shifted community composition. At the phylum level, an increase in Proteobacteria and Deferribacteres and a decrease in Firmicutes, Actinobacteria, and Bacteroidetes were observed in CG and CGUM146 compared to control and UM146. The metabolic capacity of the microbiome was also altered in CG and CGUM146 compared to UM146 and control in the colon. We demonstrated that CG resulted in bacterial dysbiosis and shifted community composition similar to what has been previously observed in IBD patients. However, AIEC strain UM146 alone did not cause any clear changes compared to CG or control in our experimental IBD pig model.
Keywords: 16S rRNA gene sequencing; Crohn's disease; adherent invasive Escherichia coli; carrageenan gum; microbiome; pigs; ulcerative colitis.