Akkermansia species. phylogeny, physiology and comparative genomics

PhD defence

Akkermansia species - phylogeny, physiology and comparative genomics

PhD candidate JP (Janneke) Ouwerkerk MSc
Co-promotor dr. C (Clara) Belzer
Co-promotor prof. dr. WM de Vos
Organisation Laboratory of Microbiology

Wed 15 June 2016 16:00 to 17:30

Venue Aula, gebouwnummer 362
Generaal Foulkesweg 1
6703 BG Wageningen

Title for non-professionals

Akkermansia bacteria - where do we find these bacteria? and what can they do?


Our gut is the habitat of trillions of microbes that are collectively named the microbiota. The microbiota plays an important role in digesting our food and produces beneficial compounds that we cannot make ourselves such as vitamins and short chain fatty acids. Moreover, the microbiota strengthens our immune system. The microbiota is separated from our body with a mucus layer that lines the gastrointestinal tract. This mucus layer forms a barrier between the microbes in our gastrointestinal tract and our own body and is the habitat of a distinct microbiota. The beneficial bacterium Akkermansia muciniphila is one of the habitants of this mucus layer and strengthens this important barrier. This thesis describes why this bacterium is so successful in colonising the mucus layer, which Akkermansia species are present in the human host, in which other animals Akkermansia species are present, and how Akkermansia muciniphila can be prepared and preserved for therapeutic interventions.