Research ArticleMICROBIOTA

Disturbed gut microbiota and bile homeostasis in Giardia-infected mice contributes to metabolic dysregulation and growth impairment

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Science Translational Medicine  14 Oct 2020:
Vol. 12, Issue 565, eaay7019
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aay7019

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A parasite’s bilious defense

The enteropathogenic parasite Giardia lamblia is a frequent cause of self-limited diarrhea in infected adult travelers. In contrast, parasite infection of children in endemic areas is not associated with diarrheal disease but rather with reduced growth and body weight gain. Riba et al. established a G. lamblia infection model in neonatal mice. Infected neonatal animals displayed reduced growth and weight gain. Analysis of these animals showed that G. lamblia induced bile secretion and that an altered gut microbiota composition, bile acid modification by commensal bacteria, and subsequent alterations of lipid metabolism contributed to this phenotype.

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