Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium is an animal welfare and public health concern due to its ability to parasite livestock and potentially contaminate pork products. To reduce Salmonella shedding and the risk of pork contamination, antibiotic therapy is used and can contribute to antimicrobial resistance. Here we hypothesized that immune system education by the microbiota can play a role in intestinal resilience to infection. We used amoxicillin (15mg/Kg) to modulate the intestinal microbiome of 10 piglets, paired with same age pigs that received a placebo (n = 10) from 0 to 14 days of age. Animals were euthanized at 4-weeks old. Each pig donated colon sections for ex vivo culture (n = 20 explants/pig). Explants were inoculated with S. Typhimurium, PBS or LPS (n = 6 explants/pig/group, plus technical controls). The gut bacteriome was characterized by sequencing of the 16S rRNA at 7, 21 days of age, and upon in vitro culture. Explants response to infection was profiled through high-throughput mRNA sequencing. In vivo antibiotic treatment led to β-diversity differences between groups at all times (P<0.05), while α-diversity did not differ between amoxicillin and placebo groups on day 21 and at euthanasia (P<0.03 on day 7). Explant microbiomes were not different from in vivo. In vitro challenge with S. Typhimurium led to lower necrosis scores in explants from amoxicillin-treated pigs, when compared to explants placebo-treated pigs (P<0.05). This was coupled with the activation of immune-related pathways in explants from amoxicillin-treated pigs (IL-2 production, NO production, BCR activation), when compared to placebo-treated pigs. In addition, several DNA repair and intestinal wound healing pathways were also only activated in explants from amoxicillin-treated pigs. Taken together, these findings suggest that immune education by the amoxicillin-disturbed microbiota may have contributed to mitigate intestinal lesions following pathogen exposure.
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