Evaluation of Bile Salts on the Survival and Modulation of Virulence of Aliarcobacter butzleri
Aliarcobacter butzleri is a Gram-negative bacterium associated with infections of the gastrointestinal tract and widely distributed in various environments. For successful infection, A. butzleri should be able to tolerate various stresses during gastrointestinal passage, such as bile. Bile represents an antimicrobial host barrier that acts against external noxious agents and consists of a variety of bile salts. The intestinal bile salts act as detergents involved in the antimicrobial host defense; although, on the bacterial side, they could also serve as a signal to activate virulence mechanisms. The aim of this work was to understand the effects of bile salts on the survival and virulence of A. butzleri . In our study, A. butzleri was able to survive in the presence of human physiological concentrations of bile salts. Regarding the virulence features, an increase in cellular hydrophobicity, a decrease in motility and expression of flaA gene, as well as an increase in biofilm formation with a concomitant change in the type of biofilm structure were observed in the presence of sub-inhibitory concentration of bile salts. Concerning adhesion and invasion ability, no significant difference was observed. Overall, the results demonstrated that A. butzleri is able to survive in physiological concentrations of bile salts and that exposure to bile salts could change its virulence mechanisms.