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Infant gut microbiota is protective against cow’s milk allergy in mice despite immature ileal T-cell response

Rodriguez, B;Prioult, G;Hacini-Rachinel, F;Moine, D;Bruttin, A;Ngom-Bru, C;Labellie, C;Nicolis, I;Berger, B;Mercenier, A;Butel, MJ;Waligora-Dupriet, AJ;

Faecal microbiota of healthy infant displays a large abundance of Bifidobacterium spp. and Bacteroides spp. Although some studies have reported an association between these two genera and allergy, these findings remain a subject of debate. Using a gnotobiotic mouse model of cow’s milk allergy, we investigated the impact of an infant gut microbiota mainly composed of Bifidobacterium and Bacteroides spp. on immune activation and allergic manifestations. The transplanted microbiota failed to restore an ileal T-cell response similar to the one observed in conventional mice. This may be due to the low bacterial translocation into Peyer’s patches in gnotobiotic mice. The allergic response was then monitored in germ-free, gnotobiotic, and conventional mice after repeated oral sensitization with whey proteins and cholera toxin. Colonized mice displayed a lower drop of rectal temperature upon oral challenge with b-lactoglobulin, lower plasma mMCP-1, and lower anti-BLG IgG1 than germ-free mice. The foxp3 gene was highly expressed in the ileum of both colonized mice that were protected against allergy. This study is the first demonstration that a transplanted healthy infant microbiota mainly composed of Bifidobacterium and Bacteroides had a protective impact on sensitization and food allergy in mice despite altered T-cell response in the ileum.