Reduction of Murine Colon Tumorigenesis Driven by Enterotoxigenic Bacteroides fragilis Using Cefoxitin Treatment

Christina E. Destefano Shields, Sara W. Van Meerbeke, Franck Housseau, Hao Wang, David L. Huso, Robert A. Casero, Heather M. O'Hagan, Cynthia L. Sears

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Background. Chronic inflammation and composition of the colon microbiota have been associated with colorectal cancer in humans. The human commensal enterotoxigenic Bacteroides fragilis (ETBF) is linked to both inflammatory bowel disease and colorectal cancer and, in our murine model, causes interleukin 17A (IL-17A)-dependent colon tumors. In these studies, we hypothesized that persistent colonization by ETBF is required for tumorigenesis. Methods. We established a method for clearing ETBF in mice, using the antibiotic cefoxitin. Multiple intestinal neoplasia mice were colonized with ETBF for the experiment duration or were cleared of infection after 5 or 14 days. Gross tumors and/or microadenomas were then evaluated. In parallel, IL-17A expression was evaluated in wild-type littermates. Results. Cefoxitin treatment resulted in complete and durable clearance of ETBF colonization. We observed a stepwise increase in median colon tumor numbers as the duration of ETBF colonization increased before cefoxitin treatment. ETBF eradication also significantly decreased mucosal IL-17A expression. Conclusions. The timing of ETBF clearance profoundly influences colon adenoma formation, defining a period during which the colon is susceptible to IL-17A-dependent tumorigenesis in this murine model. This model system can be used to study the microbiota-dependent and molecular mechanisms contributing to IL-17A-dependent colon tumor initiation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)122-129
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1 2016


  • Colitis
  • Colon cancer
  • Enterotoxigenic Bacteroides fragilis
  • microbiota

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Reduction of Murine Colon Tumorigenesis Driven by Enterotoxigenic Bacteroides fragilis Using Cefoxitin Treatment'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this