Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

The microbiota confers colonization resistance, which blocks Salmonella gut colonization1. As diet affects microbiota composition, we studied whether food composition shifts enhance susceptibility to infection. Shifting mice to diets with reduced fibre or elevated fat content for 24 h boosted Salmonella Typhimurium or Escherichia coli gut colonization and plasmid transfer. Here, we studied the effect of dietary fat. Colonization resistance was restored within 48 h of return to maintenance diet. Salmonella gut colonization was also boosted by two oral doses of oleic acid or bile salts. These pathogen blooms required Salmonella's AcrAB/TolC-dependent bile resistance. Our data indicate that fat-elicited bile promoted Salmonella gut colonization. Both E. coli and Salmonella show much higher bile resistance than the microbiota. Correspondingly, competitive E. coli can be protective in the fat-challenged gut. Diet shifts and fat-elicited bile promote S. Typhimurium gut infections in mice lacking E. coli in their microbiota. This mouse model may be useful for studying pathogen-microbiota-host interactions, the protective effect of E. coli, to analyse the spread of resistance plasmids and assess the impact of food components on the infection process.

Original publication




Journal article


Nat Microbiol

Publication Date





2164 - 2174


Animal Feed, Animals, Bile Acids and Salts, Dietary Fats, Escherichia coli, Female, Gastrointestinal Microbiome, Host-Pathogen Interactions, Male, Mice, Mice, Inbred C57BL, Microbial Interactions, Oleic Acids, Salmonella typhimurium