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      A literature survey on antimicrobial and immune-modulatory effects of butyrate revealing non-antibiotic approaches to tackle bacterial infections


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          The excessive prescription of antibiotics has led to an increasing number of antimicrobial resistances, posing a major public health concern. Therefore, the pharmacological research has shifted its focus to the identification of natural compounds that exhibit anti-pathogenic properties without triggering antibiotic resistance. Butyrate has received increasing attention as a promising candidate for the treatment of bacterial infections in the gastrointestinal tract, particularly when antibiotic treatment is contraindicated. This literature survey summarizes recently investigated antibacterial and immunemodulatory effects of butyrate. This survey revealed that butyrate exerts direct antimicrobial effects against distinct strains of Acinetobacter baumannii, Escherichia coli, Bacillus, and Staphylococcus species. In addition, in vitro and in vivo studies confirmed indirect antimicrobial effects of butyrate, which were exhibited via induction of host defensin production as well as by activation of innate and adaptive immune responses. Finally, the synergistic action of butyrate in combination with other antimicrobial compounds results in a striking clearance of bacterial pathogens. In conclusion, butyrate and its derivatives might be considered as promising antibacterial and immune-modulatory agents in order to tackle bacterial infections without antibiotics.

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          Most cited references46

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          From Dietary Fiber to Host Physiology: Short-Chain Fatty Acids as Key Bacterial Metabolites.

          A compelling set of links between the composition of the gut microbiota, the host diet, and host physiology has emerged. Do these links reflect cause-and-effect relationships, and what might be their mechanistic basis? A growing body of work implicates microbially produced metabolites as crucial executors of diet-based microbial influence on the host. Here, we will review data supporting the diverse functional roles carried out by a major class of bacterial metabolites, the short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs). SCFAs can directly activate G-coupled-receptors, inhibit histone deacetylases, and serve as energy substrates. They thus affect various physiological processes and may contribute to health and disease.
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            Discovery, research, and development of new antibiotics: the WHO priority list of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and tuberculosis

            The spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria poses a substantial threat to morbidity and mortality worldwide. Due to its large public health and societal implications, multidrug-resistant tuberculosis has been long regarded by WHO as a global priority for investment in new drugs. In 2016, WHO was requested by member states to create a priority list of other antibiotic-resistant bacteria to support research and development of effective drugs.
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              Commensal microbe-derived butyrate induces the differentiation of colonic regulatory T cells.

              Gut commensal microbes shape the mucosal immune system by regulating the differentiation and expansion of several types of T cell. Clostridia, a dominant class of commensal microbe, can induce colonic regulatory T (Treg) cells, which have a central role in the suppression of inflammatory and allergic responses. However, the molecular mechanisms by which commensal microbes induce colonic Treg cells have been unclear. Here we show that a large bowel microbial fermentation product, butyrate, induces the differentiation of colonic Treg cells in mice. A comparative NMR-based metabolome analysis suggests that the luminal concentrations of short-chain fatty acids positively correlates with the number of Treg cells in the colon. Among short-chain fatty acids, butyrate induced the differentiation of Treg cells in vitro and in vivo, and ameliorated the development of colitis induced by adoptive transfer of CD4(+) CD45RB(hi) T cells in Rag1(-/-) mice. Treatment of naive T cells under the Treg-cell-polarizing conditions with butyrate enhanced histone H3 acetylation in the promoter and conserved non-coding sequence regions of the Foxp3 locus, suggesting a possible mechanism for how microbial-derived butyrate regulates the differentiation of Treg cells. Our findings provide new insight into the mechanisms by which host-microbe interactions establish immunological homeostasis in the gut.

                Author and article information

                Eur J Microbiol Immunol (Bp)
                Eur J Microbiol Immunol (Bp)
                European Journal of Microbiology & Immunology
                Akadémiai Kiadó (Budapest )
                17 March 2021
                31 March 2021
                : 11
                : 1
                : 1-9
                Institute of Microbiology, Infectious Diseases and Immunology, Gastrointestinal Microbiology Research Group, Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, corporate member of Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, and Berlin Institute of Health , Berlin, Germany
                Author notes
                *Corresponding author. Institute of Microbiology, Infectious Diseases and Immunology, Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, CC5, Campus Benjamin Franklin, FEM, Garystr. 5, D-14195, Berlin, Germany. Tel.: +49 30 450524318. E-mail: markus.heimesaat@ 123456charite.de
                © 2021, The Author(s)

                Open Access. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License ( https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium for non-commercial purposes, provided the original author and source are credited, a link to the CC License is provided, and changes - if any – are indicated.

                Page count
                Figures: 0, Tables: 0, Equations: 0, References: 46, Pages: 9
                Review Paper

                butyrate,butanoic acid,butyrate analogs,antimicrobial effects,immune-modulatory effects,novel antimicrobial therapies,antimicrobial peptides,host defense peptides,multidrug-resistant (mdr) bacteria


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