Helicobacter infection and microbiota-dependent colonic inflammation and pathogenesis

Although colonizing the stomach, chronic H. pylori infection has been related to a number of extragastric diseases. In particular, H. pylori has been recently associated with increased risk for colon cancer, although the mechanisms by which the bacterium contributes to colon carcinogenesis remain elusive. We hypothesize that inflammation, disturbances to the intestinal microbiota, and metabolic alterations in response to H. pylori infection, all combine in a multifactorial process to promote the development of colon cancer. Within the Collaborative Research Centre 1371, we are conducting a comprehensive analysis of the immune response, the microbiome alterations, and the metabolome changes elicited by H. pylori infection in mouse models of colon carcinogenesis. Beyond the elucidation of mechanisms involved, we aim to identify a risk profile for colon cancer development during H. pylori infection that can be validated in a human cohort.