João B. Xavier

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The gastrointestinal tracts of mammals are colonized by hundreds of microbial species that contribute to health, including colonization resistance against intestinal pathogens. Many antibiotics destroy intestinal microbial communities and increase susceptibility to intestinal pathogens. Among these, Clostridium difficile, a major cause of antibiotic-induced(More)
The intestinal microbiota is a microbial ecosystem of crucial importance to human health. Understanding how the microbiota confers resistance against enteric pathogens and how antibiotics disrupt that resistance is key to the prevention and cure of intestinal infections. We present a novel method to infer microbial community ecology directly from(More)
Biofilms, in which cells attach to surfaces and secrete slime (polymeric substances), are central to microbial life. Biofilms are often thought to require high levels of cooperation because extracellular polymeric substances are a shared resource produced by one cell that can be used by others. Here we examine this hypothesis by using a detailed(More)
Biofilms are densely packed communities of microbial cells that grow on surfaces and surround themselves with secreted polymers. Many bacterial species form biofilms, and their study has revealed them to be complex and diverse. The structural and physiological complexity of biofilms has led to the idea that they are coordinated and cooperative groups,(More)
Antibiotic-induced changes in the intestinal microbiota predispose mammalian hosts to infection with antibiotic-resistant pathogens. Clostridium difficile is a Gram-positive intestinal pathogen that causes colitis and diarrhea in patients following antibiotic treatment. Clindamycin predisposes patients to C. difficile colitis. Here, we have used Roche-454(More)
BACKGROUND Bacteremia is a frequent complication of allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HSCT). It is unclear whether changes in the intestinal microbiota during allo-HSCT contribute to the development of bacteremia. We examined the microbiota of patients undergoing allo-HSCT, and correlated microbial shifts with the risk of bacteremia.(More)
Bacteria have fascinating and diverse social lives. They display coordinated group behaviors regulated by quorum-sensing systems that detect the density of other bacteria around them. A key example of such group behavior is biofilm formation, in which communities of cells attach to a surface and envelope themselves in secreted polymers. Curiously, after(More)
Bacteria causing infections in hospitalized patients are increasingly antibiotic resistant. Classical infection control practices are only partially effective at preventing spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria within hospitals. Because the density of intestinal colonization by the highly antibiotic-resistant bacterium vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus(More)
On its own, a single cell cannot exert more than a microscopic influence on its immediate surroundings. However, via strength in numbers and the expression of cooperative phenotypes, such cells can enormously impact their environments. Simple cooperative phenotypes appear to abound in the microbial world, but explaining their evolution is challenging(More)
Bacterial populations frequently act as a collective by secreting a wide range of compounds necessary for cell-cell communication, host colonization and virulence. How such behaviours avoid exploitation by spontaneous 'cheater' mutants that use but do not contribute to secretions remains unclear. We investigate this question using Pseudomonas aeruginosa(More)