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Prevention or treatment of intestinal infections with Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron

Infectious pathologies in neonates and infants are a major problem in both human and animal health. The greater sensitivity to infections in these populations is closely linked to the immaturity of their immune systems.

Prévention ou traitement d’une infection intestinale par Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron
Updated on 04/25/2018
Published on 02/27/2018

Intestinal infections cause 1.7 billion cases of diarrhoea throughout the world each year and are the second most common cause of deaths among children below the age of five. Rotaviruses and E. coli are the principal causes of infectious diarrhoea in young mammals and cause most deaths from this condition, at a considerable cost to the healthcare systems in industrialised countries. In all farmed livestock species (sheep, cattle, pigs or poultry) infectious diarrhoea (and particularly that due to rotaviruses and E. coli) can have serious consequences (retarded growth, mortality, economic losses).

Scientists in the INRA-AgroParisTech Joint Research Unit for Food and Gut Microbiology for Human Health (UMR MICALIS) have recently demonstrated that the Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron bacterium, a dominant member of the human gut microbiota, was on its own capable of maturing the gut immune system to a level similar to that observed with a complete gut microbiota (Hoffmann et al., 2015, ISME Journal). B. thetaiotaomicron induces the infiltration of the colonic mucosa by T lymphocytes, B lymphocytes and macrophages. B. thetaiotaomicron also causes maturation of the IgA system in the mucosa. In infectious mouse models, B. thetaiotaomicron exerts a protective effect against infection by a rotavirus.


  • Prevention of intestinal infections in human and animal health.


  • An alternative to antibiotics
  • A potentially varied spectrum (viruses, bacteria, parasites, yeasts).

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Patent PCT/FR2016050947 protects a composition or extract of B. thetaiotaomicron in the treatment or prevention of intestinal infections caused by a bacterium, virus, parasite or yeast, in animals or humans, and which may be used in association with other bacteria, prebiotics or antibiotics.

Type of transfer

License or licensing option with R&D programme (TRL 3)