Defining the role of Parasutterella, a previously uncharacterized member of the core gut microbiota

ISME J. 2019 Jun;13(6):1520-1534. doi: 10.1038/s41396-019-0364-5. Epub 2019 Feb 11.


The genus of Parasutterella has been defined as a core component of the human and mouse gut microbiota, and has been correlated with various health outcomes. However, like most core microbes in the gastrointestinal tract (GIT), very little is known about the biology of Parasutterella and its role in intestinal ecology. In this study, Parasutterella was isolated from the mouse GIT and characterized in vitro and in vivo. Mouse, rat, and human Parasutterella isolates were all asaccharolytic and producers of succinate. The murine isolate stably colonized the mouse GIT without shifting bacterial composition. Notable changes in microbial-derived metabolites were aromatic amino acid, bilirubin, purine, and bile acid derivatives. The impacted bile acid profile was consistent with altered expression of ileal bile acid transporter genes and hepatic bile acid synthesis genes, supporting the potential role of Parasutterella in bile acid maintenance and cholesterol metabolism. The successful colonization of Parasutterella with a single environmental exposure to conventional adult mice demonstrates that it fills the ecological niche in the GIT and contributes to metabolic functionalities. This experiment provides the first indication of the role of Parasutterella in the GIT, beyond correlation, and provides insight into how it may contribute to host health.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bile Acids and Salts / metabolism
  • Burkholderiales / classification
  • Burkholderiales / genetics
  • Burkholderiales / isolation & purification*
  • Burkholderiales / metabolism
  • Cholesterol / metabolism
  • Female
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome*
  • Humans
  • Intestines / microbiology
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Phylogeny
  • Rats


  • Bile Acids and Salts
  • Cholesterol