George M H Birchenough

Learn More
Many neurotropic strains of Escherichia coli cause potentially lethal bacteraemia and meningitis in newborn infants by virtue of their capacity to elaborate the protective polysialic acid (polySia) K1 capsule. Recombinant capsule depolymerase, endosialidase E (endoE), selectively removes polySia from the bacterial surface; when administered(More)
The gastrointestinal tract is covered by mucus that has different properties in the stomach, small intestine, and colon. The large highly glycosylated gel-forming mucins MUC2 and MUC5AC are the major components of the mucus in the intestine and stomach, respectively. In the small intestine, mucus limits the number of bacteria that can reach the epithelium(More)
Goblet cells and their main secretory product, mucus, have long been poorly appreciated; however, recent discoveries have changed this and placed these cells at the center stage of our understanding of mucosal biology and the immunology of the intestinal tract. The mucus system differs substantially between the small and large intestine, although it is(More)
Two-day-old (P2), but not 9-day-old (P9), rat pups are susceptible to systemic infection following gastrointestinal colonization by Escherichia coli K1. Age dependency reflects the capacity of colonizing K1 to translocate from gastrointestinal (GI) tract to blood. A complex GI microbiota developed by P2, showed little variation over P2 to P9, and did not(More)
Investigation of the interactions between animal host and bacterial pathogen is only meaningful if the infection model employed replicates the principal features of the natural infection. This protocol describes procedures for the establishment and evaluation of systemic infection due to neuropathogenic Escherichia coli K1 in the neonatal rat. Colonization(More)
BACKGROUND Anastomotic leakage (AL) is the most dreaded complication after colorectal surgery, causing high morbidity and mortality. Mucus is a first line of defence against external factors in the gastrointestinal tract. In this study, the structural mucus protein Muc2 was depleted in genetically engineered mice and the effect on healing of colonic(More)
Diet strongly affects gut microbiota composition, and gut bacteria can influence the colonic mucus layer, a physical barrier that separates trillions of gut bacteria from the host. However, the interplay between a Western style diet (WSD), gut microbiota composition, and the intestinal mucus layer is less clear. Here we show that mice fed a WSD have an(More)
Innate immune signaling pathways contribute to the protection of host tissue when bacterially challenged. Colonic goblet cells are responsible for generating the two mucus layers that physically separate the luminal microbiota from the host epithelium. Analysis of colonic tissues from multiple mouse strains allowed us to identify a "sentinel" goblet cell(More)
The secreted, goblet cell-derived protein Clca1 (chloride channel regulator, calcium-activated-1) has been linked to diseases with mucus overproduction, including asthma and cystic fibrosis. In the intestine Clca1 is found in the mucus with an abundance and expression pattern similar to Muc2, the major structural mucus component. We hypothesized that Clca1(More)