New in vitro colonic fermentation model for Salmonella infection in the child gut


  • Present address: Gwenaëlle Le Blay, Laboratoire Universitaire de Biodiversité et Ecologie Microbienne, ESMISAB, Université Européenne de Bretagne – Université de Brest, Technopôle Brest-Iroise, 29280 Plouzané, France.

  • Editor: Julian Marchesi

Correspondence: Christophe Lacroix, Laboratory of Food Biotechnology, ETH-Zurich, Institute of Food Science and Nutrition, Schmelzbergstrasse 7, LFV C20, 8092 Zürich, Switzerland. Tel.: +41 44 632 48 67; fax: +41 44 632 14 03; e-mail:


In this study, a new in vitro continuous colonic fermentation model of Salmonella infection with immobilized child fecal microbiota and Salmonella serovar Typhimurium was developed for the proximal colon. This model was then used to test the effects of two amoxicillin concentrations (90 and 180 mg day−1) on the microbial composition and metabolism of the gut microbiota and on Salmonella serovar Typhimurium during a 43-day fermentation. Addition of gel beads (2%, v/v) colonized with Salmonella serovar Typhimurium in the reactor resulted in a high and stable Salmonella concentration (log 7.5 cell number mL−1) in effluent samples, and a concomitant increase of Enterobacteriaeceae, Clostridium coccoides–Eubacterium rectale and Atopobium populations and a decrease of bifidobacteria. During amoxicillin treatments, Salmonella concentrations decreased while microbial balance and activity were modified in agreement with in vivo data, with a marked decrease in C. coccoides–E. rectale and an increase in Enterobacteriaceae. After interruption of antibiotic addition, Salmonella concentration again increased to reach values comparable to that measured before antibiotic treatments, showing that our model can be used to simulate Salmonella shedding in children as observed in vivo. This in vitro model could be a useful tool for developing and testing new antimicrobials against enteropathogens.