Host-microbial crosstalk in inflammatory bowel diseases
Inflammatory bowel diseases, including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, are due in part to dysgregulated immune responses to resident intestinal bacteria. However, bacteria are not passive bystanders in the chronic inflammatory process. We hypothesize that they respond to the inflamed intestine in a manner that enhances their potential to perpetuate the chronic inflammation characteristic of these diseases. We use bacterial meta-transcriptomics, metagenomics, microbial genetic engineering, and gnotobiotic mouse models of chronic colitis to answer this question.