Impact des phages tempérés sur la stabilité du microbiote intestinal : la lysogénie n'est pas un long fleuve tranquille

Abstract : A growing number of associations is observed between various human pathologies and intestinal dysbiosis, here defined as an alteration of the microbiota composition. Among the potential factors inducing dysbiosis, bacteriophages, called phages, are relevant candidates by their predatory function.The aim of the thesis was to determine whether prophages of bacterial strains from the human gut microbiota have a negative impact on the stability of their host in the gut environment. We studied this question by using germ-free mice colonized first with Escherichia coli strain LF82, then inoculated with two bacterial strains belonging to dominant species of the human intestinal microbiota, Faecalibacterium prausnitzii strain A2-165 or Roseburia intestinalis strain L1-82. Each of these strains has two prophages in its genome, Lagaffe and Mushu for F. prausnitzii, Jekyll and Shimadzu for R. intestinalis. The impact of these prophages was also studied during intestinal inflammation using DSS (Dextran Sulfate Sodium)-induced colitis in mice.In mice colonized with F. prausnitzii and E. coli , prophages of F. prausnitzii did not have any deleterious activity for the bacterial host, even during DSS-induced inflammation. In order to better characterize prophages of the F. prausnitzii species, a bioinformatic analysis carried out on 15 strains of F. prausnitzii highlighted that the prevalence of Mushu and Lagaffe was low. However, this analysis revealed also an enormous diversity of phages and we described 18 species of prophages divided into 8 new proposed genera. An in silico study of their abundance in 173 human intestinal viromes revealed that the phage genera 'Lugh' and 'Epona' were more present and/or abundant in viromes of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) patients compared to healthy subjects. Given that IBD patients have lower populations of F. prausnitzii in their microbiota compared to healthy subjects, our observations suggest an increased activity of these phages during disease. They may trigger or worsen population decline of F. prausnitzii in patients, participating thus to the aggravation of IBD symptomsIn mice colonized with R. intestinalis and E. coli, we did not observe variation of Jekyll population or deleterious effect of this phage on its host. In contrast, the Shimadzu population was not stable. Indeed, even in the absence of DSS treatment we observed in all mice the emergence of a virulent mutant of Shimadzu, called Shi-vir. This mutant massively lysed R. intestinalis, leading to a collapse of the bacterial host population. Then this population rose back to its original level thanks to the emergence of bacterial mutants resistant to the viral infection. This resistance was mainly due to the acquisition of a spacer associated with the CRISPR-Cas type IIC system of R. intestinalis, directed against the Shimadzu phage. However, acquisition of this spacer could not be observed unless the Shimadzu prophage was cured from the strain, showing that this spacer would kill the Shimadzu lysogen.I have shown therefore that a prophage can destabilize its host population in the intestinal environment and create transient intestinal dysbiosis. I have also highlighted that the selection pressure imposed by an ex-temperate phage infection, the Shi-vir phage, has allowed an acceleration of its host evolution.Overall, this work establishes that a fraction of the temperate phages present in intestinal microbiota may impact negatively bacterial population stability, either because the phage/bacteria ratio increases (for the Lugh and Epona phages de F. prausnitzii), or because the temperate phage evolves towards virulence (case of the Shi-vir mutant on R. intestinalis), and induces a transient dysbiosis.
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Jeffrey Cornuault. Impact des phages tempérés sur la stabilité du microbiote intestinal : la lysogénie n'est pas un long fleuve tranquille. Microbiologie et Parasitologie. Université Paris-Saclay, 2018. Français. ⟨NNT : 2018SACLA020⟩. ⟨tel-02276624⟩

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