Clostridium species belonging to clusters XIVa and IV are predominant organisms in the gut microbiota. They are known to affect various aspects of host biology, including the optimal breakdown of foods, competition with pathogenic microorganisms, maintenance of the intestinal epithelial barrier, and immune system development. We have recently shown that a defined mixture of 46 strains of mouse-derived Clostridium species belonging to clusters XIVa and IV affects the development and function of colonic Foxp3+ CD4+ regulatory T (Treg) cells in mice. Clostridium-induced Treg cells are likely to play a role in the maintenance of immune homeostasis in the gut.
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