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Infectious Disease


Role of the enteric nervous system in the gut anti-infectious defense


The Enteric Nervous System (ENS) is an important player in the gut anti-infectious function. Both neurons and glia can modulate epithelial antimicrobial defense through neuro-epithelial or neuro-immune interactions. Our goal is to characterize the role of the ENS in the gut defense against opportunistic bacteria of the microbiota, and more specifically against Group B Streptococcus (GBS) infection. GBS is a natural inhabitant of the intestinal and vaginal microbiota in 30% of the population. In most cases this bacteria is innocuous. Yet in vulnerable individuals, GBS can cross biological barriers, including the gut, and cause severe systemic infections, such as neonatal meningitidis.  The only existing prevention against GBS neonatal infection relies on antibiotic administration. Our objectives are 1) to characterize the role of the ENS in the risk of GBS intestinal translocation 2) to study the impact of environmental factors known to alter ENS development on the risk of GBS infection in the neonates.

Graphical abstract

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Researchers / Clinicians

Laetitia Aymeric.jpg

Laetitia Aymeric

+33 2 40 41 29 74


Aglaé Herbreteau.jpg

Aglaé Herbreteau

+33 2 40 41 29 50

Tony Durand.jpg

Tony Durand

+33 2 40 41 29 50

Anne Bessard.jpg

Anne Bessard

+33 2 40 41 29 50


Anais Onillon.jpg

Anaïs Onillon


Dr Asma TAZI (Centre National de Référence des Streptocoques, Institut Cochin, Paris)

Dr Shaynoor DRAMSI (Institut Pasteur, Paris)

Dr Pascale VONAESCH (University of Lausanne, Suisse)

Dr Julie TOMAS (CIML, Marseille)




Blin J, Gautier C, Aubert P, Durand T, Oullier T, Aymeric L, Naveilhan P, Masson D, Neunlist M, Bach-Ngohou K. Psychological stress induces an increase in cholinergic enteric neuromuscular pathways mediated by glucocorticoid receptors. Front Neurosci. 2023 Feb 14;17:1100473. Link


Girot P, Chapelle N, Aymeric L, Bessard A, Prigent A, Touchefeu Y, Varon C, Neunlist M, Duchalais E, Matysiak-Budnik T. Adhesion of Gastric Cancer Cells to the Enteric Nervous System: Comparison between the Intestinal Type and Diffuse Type of Gastric Cancer. Cancers (Basel). 2022 Jul 6;14(14):3296. Link


Herbreteau A, Aubert P, Croyal M, Naveilhan P, Billon-Crossouard S, Neunlist M, Delneste Y, Couez D, Aymeric L. Late-Stage Glioma Is Associated with Deleterious Alteration of Gut Bacterial Metabolites in Mice. Metabolites. 2022 Mar 25;12(4):290. Link


Gonzales J, Marchix J, Aymeric L, Le Berre-Scoul C, Zoppi J, Bordron P, Burel M, Davidovic L, Richard JR, Gaman A, Lejuste F, Brouillet JZ, Le Vacon F, Chaffron S, Leboyer M, Boudin H, Neunlist M. Fecal Supernatant from Adult with Autism Spectrum Disorder Alters Digestive Functions, Intestinal Epithelial Barrier, and Enteric Nervous System. Microorganisms. 2021 Aug 13;9(8):1723. Link


Pasquereau-Kotula E, Martins M, Aymeric L, Dramsi S. Significance of Streptococcus gallolyticus subsp. gallolyticus Association With Colorectal Cancer. Front Microbiol. 2018 Apr 3;9:614. Link


Aymeric L, Donnadieu F, Mulet C, du Merle L, Nigro G, Saffarian A, Bérard M, Poyart C, Robine S, Regnault B, Trieu-Cuot P, Sansonetti PJ, Dramsi S. Colorectal cancer specific conditions promote Streptococcus gallolyticus gut colonization. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2018 Jan 9;115(2):E283-E291. Link


Martins M, Aymeric L, du Merle L, Danne C, Robbe-Masselot C, Trieu-Cuot P, Sansonetti P, Dramsi S. Streptococcus gallolyticus Pil3 Pilus Is Required for Adhesion to Colonic Mucus and for Colonization of Mouse Distal Colon. J Infect Dis. 2015 Nov 15;212(10):1646-55. Link

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