Manipulation of the quorum sensing signal AI-2 affects the antibiotic-treated gut microbiota

Jessica Ann Thompson, RitaAlmeida Oliveira, Ana Djukovic, Carles Ubeda, Karina Bivar Xavier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

173 Citations (Scopus)


The mammalian gut microbiota harbors a diverse ecosystem where hundreds of bacterial species interact with each other and their host. Given that bacteria use signals to communicate and regulate group behaviors (quorum sensing), we asked whether such communication between different commensal species can influence the interactions occurring in this environment. We engineered the enteric bacterium, Escherichia coli, to manipulate the levels of the interspecies quorum sensing signal, autoinducer-2 (AI-2), in the mouse intestine and investigated the effect upon antibiotic-induced gut microbiota dysbiosis. E.coli that increased intestinal AI-2 levels altered the composition of the antibiotic-treated gut microbiota, favoring the expansion of the Firmicutes phylum. This significantly increased the Firmicutes/Bacteroidetes ratio, to oppose the strong effect of the antibiotic, which had almost cleared the Firmicutes. This demonstrates that AI-2 levels influence the abundance of the major phyla of the gut microbiota, the balance of which is known to influence human health.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1861-1871
Number of pages11
JournalCell Reports
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 24 Mar 2015

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Manipulation of the quorum sensing signal AI-2 affects the antibiotic-treated gut microbiota'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this