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Summary

Using interleukin 10-deficient (IL-10-/-) and wild-type mice monoassociated with either the adherent-invasive Escherichia coli UNC or the probiotic E. coli Nissle, the effect of a mild intestinal inflammation on the bacterial proteome was studied. Within 8 weeks, IL-10-/- mice monoassociated with E. coli UNC exhibited an increased expression of several proinflammatory markers in caecal mucosa. Escherichia coli Nissle-associated IL-10-/- mice did not do so. As observed previously for E. coli from mice with acute colitis, glycolytic enzymes were downregulated in intestinal E. coli UNC from IL-10-/- mice. In addition, the inhibitor of vertebrate C-type lysozyme, Ivy, was upregulated on messenger RNA (mRNA) and protein level in E. coli Nissle from IL-10-/- mice compared with E. coli UNC from these mice. Higher expression of Ivy in E. coli Nissle correlated with an improved growth of this probiotic strain in the presence of lysozyme-ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA). By overexpressing Ivy, we demonstrated that Ivy contributes to a higher lysozyme resistance of E. coli, supporting the role of Ivy as a potential fitness factor. However, deletion of Ivy did not alter the growth phenotype of E. coli Nissle in the presence of lysozyme-EDTA, suggesting the existence of additional lysozyme inhibitors that can take over the function of Ivy.