An enteric virus can replace the beneficial function of commensal bacteria

Posted by: | November 24, 2023 | Comments

Abstract

Intestinal microbial communities have profound effects on host physiology. Whereas the symbiotic contribution of commensal bacteria is well established, the role of eukaryotic viruses that are present in the gastrointestinal tract under homeostatic conditions is undefined. Here we demonstrate that a common enteric RNA virus can replace the beneficial function of commensal bacteria in the intestine. Murine norovirus (MNV) infection of germ-free or antibiotic-treated mice restored intestinal morphology and lymphocyte function without inducing overt inflammation and disease. The presence of MNV also suppressed an expansion of group 2 innate lymphoid cells observed in the absence of bacteria, and induced transcriptional changes in the intestine associated with immune development and type I interferon (IFN) signalling. Consistent with this observation, the IFN-α receptor was essential for the ability of MNV to compensate for bacterial depletion. Importantly, MNV infection offset the deleterious effect of treatment with antibiotics in models of intestinal injury and pathogenic bacterial infection. These data indicate that eukaryotic viruses have the capacity to support intestinal homeostasis and shape mucosal immunity, similarly to commensal bacteria.

Elisabeth Kernbauer, Yi Ding & Ken Cadwell Nature (2014)doi:10.1038/nature13960 Received 05 June 2023 Accepted 13 October 2023 Published online 19 November 2023

Read more at: Nature




  • Randi Lundberg

    So…maybe MNV shouldn´t be so unwanted in SPF rodent colonies after all…



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