Citrobacter rodentium murine infection is the ‘gold standard’ model for investigating host response to human diarrhoeal pathogens, Enteropathogenic and Enterohaemorrhagic Escherichia coli. Mouse strains have varying susceptibility to C. rodentium with some developing self-resolving mild diarrhoea whereas others develop severe diarrhoea and dehydration resulting in lethal disease. One of the primary defences against these invading pathogens are intestinal epithelial cells (IECs) which line the gastrointestinal tract forming a protective barrier. Previously, we have characterised changes in the metabolic landscape of C. rodentium infected IECs from resistant C57Bl/6 mice, which develop self-limiting colitis upon infection. Here, we examine the global proteomic response of infected IECs from a lethally susceptible host, C3H/HeNCrl. We highlight conserved infection signatures between resistant and susceptible mice, including the upregulation of cell cycle and DNA replication processes at the peak of infection. Temporal analysis of the IEC landscape revealed reduced expression of the differentiated Reg4+and Slc26a3 containing cells three days post inoculation (DPI), earlier than reported for C57Bl/6. Further investigation revealed the onset of other infection-induced host responses also occurring by three DPI. Bioluminescent imaging showed C. rodentium to colonise a larger proportion of the colon and microbiome analysis revealed the absence of the C. rodentium competing phyla, Bacteroides from the host-pathogen interface. Our results suggest that the absence Bacteroides from the uninfected C3H microbiome may enable C. rodentium to extensively colonise the colon accelerating the onset of host protective responses which can ultimately be of detriment and lead to increased disease severity in C3H/HeNCrl.

  • This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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