Infectious diarrhea is one of the most important health problems worldwide. Although nutritional status influences the clinical manifestation of various enteric pathogen infections, the effect of diet on enteric infectious diseases remains unclear. Using a fatal infectious diarrheal model, we found that an amino acid-based diet (AD) protected susceptible mice infected with the enteric pathogen Citrobacter rodentium. While the mice fed other diets, including a regular diet, were highly susceptible to C. rodentium infection, AD-fed mice had an increased survival rate. An AD did not suppress C. rodentium colonization or intestinal damage; instead, it prevented diarrhea-induced dehydration by increasing water intake. An AD altered the plasma and fecal amino acid levels and changed the gut microbiota composition. Treatment with glutamate, whose level was increased in the plasma and feces of AD-fed mice, promoted water intake and improved the survival of C. ro-dentium-infected mice. Thus, an AD changes the systemic amino acid balance and protects against lethal infectious diarrhea by maintaining total body water content.
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