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Can J Microbiol. 1999 Dec;45(12):981-7.

Some probiotic properties of chicken lactobacilli.

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  • 1Centro de Referencia para Lactobacilos, Tucumán, Argentina.


The beneficial effect of lactobacilli has been attributed to their ability to colonize human and animal gastrointestinal tracts. In this work, adhesion assays with three lactobacillus strains and intestinal fragments obtained from chickens were assessed. Lactobacillus animalis and L. fermentum were able to adhere to three kinds of epithelial cells (crop, small and large intestines) with predominance to small intestine. Among the strains considered, L. fermentum subsp. cellobiosus showed the lowest and L. animalis the highest adhesion ability. Scanning electron microphotographs showing L. animalis and L. fermentum adhering to intestinal cells were obtained. The characterization of L. animalis adhesion indicated that lectin-like structure of this strain has glucose/mannose as specific sugars of binding. However, a calcium requirement was not observed. The adhesion of L. fermentum was reduced by addition of sialic acid or mannose (P < 0.01). These carbohydrates can be involved in the interaction between adhesin and epithelial surface. In this case, the dependence on bivalent cations was demonstrated. Lactobacillus fermentum was effective in reducing the attachment of Salmonella pullorum by 77%, while L. animalis was able to inhibit (90%, 88%, and 78%) the adhesion of S. pullorum, S. enteritidis, and S. gallinarum to host-specific epithelial fragments respectively. Our results from this in vitro model suggest that these lactobacilli are able to block the binding sites for Salmonella adhesion.

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