RORγt + Treg to Th17 ratios correlate with susceptibility to Giardia infection

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Cortés, Alba 
Klotz, Christian 
Kühl, Anja A. 
Heimesaat, Markus M. 

Abstract: Infections with Giardia are among the most common causes of food and water-borne diarrheal disease worldwide. Here, we investigated Th17, Treg and IgA responses, and alterations in gut microbiota in two mouse lines with varying susceptibility to Giardia muris infection. Infected BALB/c mice shed significantly more cysts compared with C57BL/6 mice. Impaired control of infection in BALB/c mice was associated with lower Th17 activity and lower IgA levels compared with C57BL/6 mice. The limited metabolic activity, proliferation and cytokine production of Th17 cells in BALB/c mice was associated with higher proportions of intestinal Foxp3+RORγt+ regulatory T cells and BALB/c mice developed increased RORγt+ Treg:Th17 ratios in response to G. muris infection. Furthermore, G. muris colonization led to a significantly reduced evenness in the gut microbial communities of BALB/c mice. Our data indicate that differential susceptibility to Giardia infections may be related to RORγt+ Treg controlling Th17 activity and that changes in the microbiota composition upon Giardia infection partially depend on the host background.


Funder: Fundacion Alfonso Martin Escudero

Funder: RCUK | Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC); doi:

Funder: Isaac Newton Trust; doi:

Article, /631/250/2152/1566, /631/250/347, /631/326/417/2546, /9, /13, /13/1, /13/21, /13/31, /14/34, /14/63, /38/77, /38/90, /38/91, /64/60, article
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Scientific Reports
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Nature Publishing Group UK
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German Research Foundation) (GRK2046, GRK2046, GRK2046)
Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (Federal Ministry of Education and Research) (IP7/01KI1725D)