Human Alcohol-Microbiota Mice have Increased Susceptibility to Bacterial Pneumonia

Kelly C. Cunningham, Deandra R. Smith, Daniel N. Villageliú, Christi M. Ellis, Amanda E. Ramer-Tait, Jeffrey D. Price, Todd A. Wyatt, Daren L. Knoell, Mystera M. Samuelson, Patricia E. Molina, David A. Welsh, Derrick R. Samuelson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Preclinical studies have shown that chronic alcohol abuse leads to alterations in the gastrointestinal microbiota that are associated with behavior changes, physiological alterations, and immunological effects. However, such studies have been limited in their ability to evaluate the direct effects of alcohol-associated dysbiosis. To address this, we developed a humanized alcohol-microbiota mouse model to systematically evaluate the immunological effects of chronic alcohol abuse mediated by intestinal dysbiosis. Germ-free mice were colonized with human fecal microbiota from individuals with high and low Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) scores and bred to produce human alcohol-associated microbiota or human control-microbiota F1 progenies. F1 offspring colonized with fecal microbiota from individuals with high AUDIT scores had increased susceptibility to Klebsiella pneumoniae and Streptococcus pneumoniae pneumonia, as determined by increased mortality rates, pulmonary bacterial burden, and post-infection lung damage. These findings highlight the importance of considering both the direct effects of alcohol and alcohol-induced dysbiosis when investigating the mechanisms behind alcohol-related disorders and treatment strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2267
Issue number18
StatePublished - Sep 2023


  • alcohol
  • gut–lung axis
  • host defense
  • klebsiella
  • microbiome
  • pneumonia
  • streptococcus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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