Development of a Humanized Murine Model for the Study of Oxalobacter formigenes Intestinal Colonization

Amanda M. Pebenito, Menghan Liu, Lama Nazzal, Martin J. Blaser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Background: Oxalobacter formigenes are bacteria that colonize the human gut and degrade oxalate, a component of most kidney stones. Findings of clinical and epidemiological studies suggest that O. formigenes colonization reduces the risk for kidney stones. We sought to develop murine models to allow investigating O. formigenes in the context of its native human microbiome. Methods: For humanization, we transplanted pooled feces from healthy, noncolonized human donors supplemented with a human O. formigenes strain into recipient mice. We transplanted microbiota into mice that were treated with broad-spectrum antibiotics to suppress their native microbiome, were germ free, or received humanization without pretreatment or received sham gavage (controls). Results: All humanized mice were stably colonized with O. formigenes through 8 weeks after gavage, whereas mice receiving sham gavage remained uncolonized (P <. 001). Humanization significantly changed the murine intestinal microbial community structure (P <. 001), with humanized germ-free and antibiotic-Treated groups overlapping in β-diversity. Both germ-free and antibiotic-Treated mice had significantly increased numbers of human species compared with sham-gavaged mice (P <. 001). Conclusions: Transplanting mice with human feces and O. formigenes introduced new microbial populations resembling the human microbiome, with stable O. formigenes colonization; such models can define optimal O. formigenes strains to facilitate clinical trials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1848-1858
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Issue number11
StatePublished - Oct 22 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Infectious Diseases


  • Commensal bacteria
  • antibiotics
  • metabolism
  • microbiome
  • nephrolithiasis
  • oxalate
  • xenobiosis


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