Date of Award
Master of Science
Heidi Goodrich-Blair, Sarah Lebeis
Campylobacter infections are the leading bacterial cause of diarrhea worldwide with potentially profound impacts on pediatric patients in the developing world. It is still unclear how Campylobacter impacts human hosts, though it is becoming increasingly evident that Campylobacters infection’s impact is a multifactorial process that depends on the host immune response, the gastrointestinal microbiota, various bacterial derived metabolites, and possibly the nutritional status of the host. Since these factors likely differ between human-host and bacteria in the developed and developing worlds, it is important that studies comprehensively define these attributes in well characterized clinical cohorts in both settings. In this study, we analyzed the microbiota, the metabolome, and the micronutrient profile of fecal samples from Campylobacter-infected pediatric subjects in Colombia during a case-controlled study of acute diarrheal disease. Here, we report that Campylobacter-infected children exhibited significant changes to the gastrointestinal environment when compared to uninfected cohorts, including shifts in Proteobacteria abundance and concentrations of gastrointestinal metabolites, and decreases in almost all essential micronutrients. These observations have led to several hypotheses on how Campylobacter infection may affect host biology, and ultimately negatively impact clinical outcome in young children throughout the developing world.
Tweedie, Jessica, "Campylobacter infection of young children in a Latin American middle-income country and its impact on the gastrointestinal environment. " Master's Thesis, University of Tennessee, 2019.