Cranberry Extracts Promote Growth of Bacteroidaceae and Decrease Abundance of Enterobacteriaceae in A Guman Gut Simulator Model.
The opportunistic pathogen Escherichia coli, a common member of the human gut microbiota belonging to the Enterobacteriaceae family, is the causative agent of the majority of urinary tract infections (UTIs). The gut microbiota serves as a reservoir for uropathogenic E. coli where they are shed in feces, colonize the periurethral area, and infect the urinary tract. Currently, front line treatment for UTIs consists of oral antibiotics, but the rise of antibiotic resistance is leading to higher rates of recurrence, and antibiotics cause collateral damage to other members of the gut microbiota. It is commonly believed that incorporation of the American cranberry, Vaccinium macrocarpon, into the diet is useful for reducing recurrence of UTIs. We hypothesized such a benefit might be explained by a prebiotic or antimicrobial effect on the gut microbiota. As such, we tested cranberry extracts and whole cranberry powder on a human gut microbiome-derived community in a gut simulator and found that cranberry components broadly modulate the microbiota by reducing the abundance of Enterobacteriaceae and increasing the abundance of Bacteroidaceae. To identify the specific compounds responsible for this, we tested a panel of compounds isolated from cranberries for activity against E. coli, and found that salicylate exhibited antimicrobial activity against both laboratory E. coli and human UTI E. coli isolates. In a gut simulator, salicylate reduced levels of Enterobacteriaceae and elevated Bacteroidaceae in a dose dependent manner.