Journal article

Pivotal Roles for pH, Lactate, and Lactate-Utilizing Bacteria in the Stability of a Human Colonic Microbial Ecosystem.

Shui Ping Wang, Luis A Rubio, Sylvia H Duncan, Gillian E Donachie, Grietje Holtrop, Galiana Lo, Freda M Farquharson, Josef Wagner, Julian Parkhill, Petra Louis, Alan W Walker, Harry J Flint

mSystems | Published : 2020


Lactate can be produced by many gut bacteria, but in adults its accumulation in the colon is often an indicator of microbiota perturbation. Using continuous culture anaerobic fermentor systems, we found that lactate concentrations remained low in communities of human colonic bacteria maintained at pH 6.5, even when dl-lactate was infused at 10 or 20 mM. In contrast, lower pH (5.5) led to periodic lactate accumulation following lactate infusion in three fecal microbial communities examined. Lactate accumulation was concomitant with greatly reduced butyrate and propionate production and major shifts in microbiota composition, with Bacteroidetes and anaerobic Firmicutes being replaced by Actino..

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