Document Type


Date of Original Version



Cell & Molecular Biology


Escherichia coli MG1655, a K-12 strain, uses glycolytic nutrients exclusively to colonize the intestines of streptomycin-treated mice when it is the only E. coli strain present or when it is confronted with E. coli EDL933, an O157:H7 strain. In contrast, E. coli EDL933 uses glycolytic nutrients exclusively when it is the only E. coli strain in the intestine but switches in part to gluconeogenic nutrients when it colonizes mice precolonized with E. coli MG1655 (R. L. Miranda et al., Infect Immun 72:1666–1676, 2004, Recently, J. W. Njoroge et al. (mBio 3:e00280-12, 2012, reported that E. coli 86-24, an O157:H7 strain, activates the expression of virulence genes under gluconeogenic conditions, suggesting that colonization of the intestine with a probiotic E. coli strain that outcompetes O157:H7 strains for gluconeogenic nutrients could render them nonpathogenic. Here we report that E. coli Nissle 1917, a probiotic strain, uses both glycolytic and gluconeogenic nutrients to colonize the mouse intestine between 1 and 5 days postfeeding, appears to stop using gluconeogenic nutrients thereafter in a large, long-term colonization niche, but continues to use them in a smaller niche to compete with invading E. coli EDL933. Evidence is also presented suggesting that invading E. coli EDL933 uses both glycolytic and gluconeogenic nutrients and needs the ability to perform gluconeogenesis in order to colonize mice precolonized with E. coli Nissle 1917. The data presented here therefore rule out the possibility that E. coli Nissle 1917 can starve the O157:H7 E. coli strain EDL933 of gluconeogenic nutrients, even though E. coli Nissle 1917 uses such nutrients to compete with E. coli EDL933 in the mouse intestine.