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Genes mcr improve the intestinal fitness of pathogenic E. coli and balance their lifestyle to commensalism

  • Dalmasso, Guillaume
  • Beyrouthy, Racha
  • Brugiroux, Sandrine
  • Ruppé, Etienne
  • Guillouard, Laurent
  • Bonnin, Virginie
  • Saint-Sardos, Pierre
  • Ghozlane, Amine
  • Gaumet, Vincent
  • Barnich, Nicolas
  • Delmas, Julien
  • Bonnet, Richard
Publication Date
Jan 20, 2023
DOI: 10.1186/s40168-022-01457-y
PMID: 36670449
OAI: oai:HAL:pasteur-04086913v1
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BackgroundThe plasmid-mediated resistance gene mcr-1 confers colistin resistance in Escherichia coli and paves the way for the evolution to pan-drug resistance. We investigated the impact of mcr-1 in gut colonization in the absence of antibiotics using isogenic E. coli strains transformed with a plasmid encoding or devoid of mcr-1.ResultsIn gnotobiotic and conventional mice, mcr-1 significantly enhanced intestinal anchoring of E. coli but impaired their lethal effect. This improvement of intestinal fitness was associated with a downregulation of intestinal inflammatory markers and the preservation of intestinal microbiota composition. The mcr-1 gene mediated a cross-resistance to antimicrobial peptides secreted by the microbiota and intestinal epithelial cells (IECs), enhanced E. coli adhesion to IECs, and decreased the proinflammatory activity of both E. coli and its lipopolysaccharides.ConclusionOverall, mcr-1 changed multiple facets of bacterial behaviour and appeared as a factor enhancing commensal lifestyle and persistence in the gut even in the absence of antibiotics.

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