Apr 24, 2020

Mining zebrafish microbiota reveals key community-level resistance against fish pathogen infection

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology


The identification of commensal bacteria conferring resistance against pathogens is often hindered by the complexity of host microbial communities. We used germ-free, conventional and re-conventionalized zebrafish as a model to study the determinant of microbiota-associated colonization resistance against the fish pathogen Flavobacterium columnare. We showed that a consortium of 10 culturable endogenous bacterial species protects zebrafish from lethal intestinal damages caused by F. columnare infection using two different scenarios that do not rely on host innate immunity. Alteration of microbiota composition upon antibiotic dysbiosis first identified Chryseobacterium massilliae as a key bacterium protecting both larvae and adult zebrafish. We also showed that an assembly of 9 species that do not otherwise protect individually confer a community-level resistance to infection. Our study reveals the ecological strategies at play in microbiota-based protection against pathogens in a low-complexity in vivo model, opening perspectives for the rational engineering of resilient microbial communities.

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