Background and aims: Bacteriotherapy aimed at addressing dysbiosis may be therapeutic for Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBDs). We sought to determine if defined Bacteroides-based bacteriotherapy could be an effective and consistent alternative to fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) in a murine model of IBD. Methods: We induced experimental colitis in 8- 12-week-old C57BL/6 mice using 2-3% dextran sodium sulfate. Mice were simultaneously treated by oral gavage with a triple-Bacteroides cocktail, individual Bacteroides strains, FMT using stool from healthy donor mice, or their own stool as a control. Survival, weight loss and markers of inflammation (histology, serum amyloid A, cytokine production) were correlated to 16S rRNA gene profiling of fecal and mucosal microbiomes. Results: Triple-Bacteroides combination therapy was more protective against weight loss and mortality than traditional FMT therapy. B. ovatus ATCC8483 was more effective than any individual strain, or a combination of strains, in preventing weight loss, decreasing histological damage, dampening inflammatory response, and stimulating epithelial recovery. Irrespective of the treatment group, overall Bacteroides abundance associated with treatment success and decreased cytokine production while the presence of Akkermansia correlated with treatment failure. However, the therapeutic benefit associated with high Bacteroides abundance was negated in the presence of Streptococcus. Conclusions: Bacteroides ovatus monotherapy was more consistent and effective than traditional FMT at ameliorating colitis and stimulating epithelial recovery in a murine model of IBD. Given the tolerability of Bacteroides ovatus ATCC 8483 in an active, on-going human study, this therapy may be repurposed for the management of IBD in a clinically expedient timeline.
Keywords: Inflammatory bowel disease; bacteriotherapy; dysbiosis; fecal microbiota transplantation; microbiota.