1887

Abstract

, an anaerobic bacterium that inhabits the mammalian gastrointestinal tract, has an important symbiotic relationship with its vertebrate hosts by regulating oxalic acid homeostasis. Epidemiological studies of colonization in man have shown that colonization occurs in young children, that every child can become colonized naturally, that >20 % lose colonization during adolescence or as adults and that stable colonization can be disrupted by antibiotic use or changes in diet, greatly affecting subsequent health. As is a fastidious anaerobe that seldom re-colonizes adults, the question arises as to how initial colonization occurs. To investigate this question, non-colonized female laboratory rats were placed on diets high in oxalate and were colonized by oesophageal gavage with either before or after being impregnated. Faecal specimens from their offspring were tested for the presence of . Although the bacterium was first detected in a few neonates as early as 7 days post-partum, colonization of all the offspring did not occur until after weaning. In each case, the offspring were colonized with the bacterial strain carried by their mothers. To determine whether colonization occurs vertically or horizontally, newborn rats were placed with foster mothers that were either non-colonized or colonized with an strain different from that of their natural mothers. Colonization occurred temporally in a manner similar to natural colonization but all offspring became colonized only with the strain of the foster mothers. These data indicate that intestinal colonization occurs horizontally, but does not answer the question of how survives the aerobic environment in order to be transmitted.

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2004-03-01
2019-11-17
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