Neonatal acquisition of Clostridia species protects against colonization by bacterial pathogens

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Science  21 Apr 2017:
Vol. 356, Issue 6335, pp. 315-319
DOI: 10.1126/science.aag2029

Gut anaerobes protect against pathogen invasion

Intestinal infections are a common problem for young animals. One explanation is that the protective gut microbiota is not fully established in infants. How the microbiota might protect against pathogens is unclear. Kim et al. found that members of the group of strictly anaerobic, spore-forming bacteria known as clostridia protect neonatal mice against diarrhea-causing pathogens. The protective effect is enhanced by giving mice the metabolite succinate in drinking water. Succinate favors colonization of the neonatal gut by cluster IV and XIVa clostridia and concomitantly excludes Salmonella typhimurium.

Science, this issue p. 315