Intestinal microbiota signatures associated with inflammation history in mice experiencing recurring colitis

David Berry, Orest Kuzyk, Isabella Rauch, Susanne Heider, Clarissa Schwab, Eva Hainzl, Thomas Decker, Mathias Müller, Birgit Strobl, Christa Schleper, Tim Urich, Michael Wagner, Lukas Kenner, Alexander Loy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

95 Scopus citations


Acute colitis causes alterations in the intestinal microbiota, but the microbiota is thought to recover after such events. Extreme microbiota alterations are characteristic of human chronic inflammatory bowel diseases, although alterations reported in different studies are divergent and sometimes even contradictory. To better understand the impact of periodic disturbances on the intestinal microbiota and its compositional difference between acute and relapsing colitis, we investigated the beginnings of recurrent inflammation using the dextran sodium sulfate (DSS) mouse model of chemically induced colitis. Using bacterial 16S rRNA gene-targeted pyrosequencing as well as quantitative fluorescence in situ hybridization, we profiled the intestinal and stool microbiota of mice over the course of three rounds of DSS-induced colitis and recovery. We found that characteristic inflammation-associated microbiota could be detected in recovery-phase mice. Successive inflammation episodes further drove the microbiota into an increasingly altered composition post-inflammation, and signatures of colitis history were detectable in the microbiota more sensitively than by pathology analysis. Bacterial indicators of murine colitis history were identified in intestinal and stool samples, with a high degree of consistency between both sample types. Stool may therefore be a promising non-invasive source of bacterial biomarkers that are highly sensitive to inflammation state and history.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number01408
JournalFrontiers in Microbiology
Issue numberDEC
StatePublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Akkermansia
  • Bacteroides
  • Colitis
  • DSS
  • FISH
  • IBD
  • Mucispirillum

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Microbiology (medical)


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