Mise en place d'un modèle animal d'infection par Blastocystis : répercussion sur la sensibilité colique, le comportement et le microbiote intestinal

Abstract : Chronic abdominal pain often associated with colonic hypersensitivity (CHS) is one of the major symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). IBS is a functional chronic disorder affecting ~11% of worldwide population and disturbing patients’ quality of life. Etiology is multifactorial and thus pathophysiology is complex and remains poorly understood. Infectious gastroenteritis has been described as one of the risk factors for development of post-infectious IBS (PI-IBS). PI-IBS can occur in 4-31% of patients following acute gastroenteritis of bacterial, viral or parasitic origin. Numerous studies support a role for pathogen-mediated modifications in the resident intestinal microbiota, epithelial barrier integrity and immune activation in PI-IBS. Interestingly, the risk of IBS is highest with protozoal enteritis, with ~40% of individuals developing IBS against ~14% following bacterial infection. Blastocystis is the most common intestinal parasite found in human intestinal tract. Nevertheless, clinical relevance remains controversial, despite recent epidemiological studies showing a higher prevalence of this parasite in IBS patients. Interestingly, studies report that individuals carrying Blastocystis display abdominal pain and intestinal dysbiosis. Currently, the lack of reproducible animal model of Blastocystis infection does not allow to study the pathological mechanisms related to infection and thus to explore the potential contribution of this parasite in IBS.The aims of this study were first to develop a murine model of Blastocystis infection and then to investigate whether this parasite could lead to the development of intestinal dysbiosis associated CHS with the aim of developing a new PI-IBS rat model.The first aim was to evaluate the infectivity of different parasitic subtypes and stages (vacuolar and cystic forms) isolated from axenic cultures or purified from human or animal feces, into laboratory animals (rats and mice). Interestingly, we succeeded in the development of a reproducible model of chronic infection by Blastocystis in laboratory rats using cysts purified from human stool.Using this animal model, we found that Blastocystis ST4 induced non inflammatory CHS in infected rats. In addition infected rats developed anxiety- and depressive-like behavior correlated with CHS. Infection associated intestinal dysbiosis was characterized by increased bacterial richness and decreased Firmicutes/Bacteroidetes ratio. Interestingly, we correlated CHS with the increase in the relative abundance of genus Bacteroides and the decrease in the relative abundance of the family Clostridiaceae, some bacteria producing Short Chain Fatty Acids (SCFAs). Indeed, fecal SCFAs levels were decreased in infected rats. These decreases were correlated with the relative abundance of genus Oscillospira which was also described increased in Blastocystis individual carriers. In addition, we have demonstrated an increase in fecal serine protease activity in infected animals that may explain development of CHS.These data suggest that a gastrointestinal infection with Blastocystis may be associated with the establishment of intestinal dysbiosis associated CHS. Thus, this new infectious model could be a good model of PI-IBS and could therefore contribute to a better diagnosis and development of new therapeutic strategies for chronic bowel diseases.
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Manon Defaye. Mise en place d'un modèle animal d'infection par Blastocystis : répercussion sur la sensibilité colique, le comportement et le microbiote intestinal. Microbiologie et Parasitologie. Université Clermont Auvergne, 2018. Français. ⟨NNT : 2018CLFAS019⟩. ⟨tel-02402188v2⟩

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