A Listeria monocytogenes Bacteriocin Can Target the Commensal Prevotella copri and Modulate Intestinal Infection

Cell Host Microbe. 2019 Nov 13;26(5):691-701.e5. doi: 10.1016/j.chom.2019.10.016.


Understanding the role of the microbiota components in either preventing or favoring enteric infections is critical. Here, we report the discovery of a Listeria bacteriocin, Lmo2776, which limits Listeria intestinal colonization. Oral infection of conventional mice with a Δlmo2776 mutant leads to a thinner intestinal mucus layer and higher Listeria loads both in the intestinal content and deeper tissues compared to WT Listeria. This latter difference is microbiota dependent, as it is not observed in germ-free mice. Strikingly, it is phenocopied by pre-colonization of germ-free mice before Listeria infection with Prevotella copri, an abundant gut-commensal bacteria, but not with the other commensals tested. We further show that Lmo2776 targets P. copri and reduces its abundance. Together, these data unveil a role for P.copri in exacerbating intestinal infection, highlighting that pathogens such as Listeria may selectively deplete microbiota bacterial species to avoid excessive inflammation.

Keywords: Bacteriocin; Listeria monocytogenes; Lmo2776; M-SHIME; Prevotella copri; infection; microbiota.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Bacteriocins / pharmacology*
  • Female
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome / drug effects*
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome / genetics
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome / physiology
  • Germ-Free Life
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / prevention & control
  • Listeria monocytogenes / metabolism*
  • Listeriosis / microbiology
  • Listeriosis / prevention & control*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Prevotella / drug effects
  • Prevotella / growth & development*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Bacteriocins

Supplementary concepts

  • Prevotella copri