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Med Microbiol Immunol. 2001 Dec;190(3):97-104.

Protection against translocating Salmonella typhimurium infection in mice by feeding the immuno-enhancing probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus strain HN001.

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  • 1Milk & Health Research Centre, Institute of Food, Nutrition and Human Health, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand.


The probiotic lactic acid bacterium Lactobacillus rhamnosus (strain HN001) is known to stimulate enhanced innate and acquired immune responses in mice. following oral delivery. Here, the ability of HN001 to confer immune enhancement and protection against an oral challenge of Salmonella tYphimurium was investigated. HN001-fed and non-probiotic-fed control BALB/c mice were challenged with either a single dose of S. typhimurium (ATCC strain 1772), or with five repeated daily doses of the pathogen; post-challenge clinical, behavioural, bacteriological and immunological parameters were assessed. Mice began to show ostensible signs of infection 3-4 days following the initiation of Salmonella challenge, and the first mortalities were observed after 6 days. Following single-dose Salmonella challenge, HN001-fed mice maintained a higher mean pre-mortality general health score than control mice; retained significantly greater food and water intake and weight gain, produced higher titres of serum and intestinal tract anti-Salmonella antibodies, and showed greater overall survival of infection (27/30 mice surviving at 21 days post-challenge, compared to 2/29 in the control group). Following repeated-dose Salmonella challenge, HN001-fed mice had significantly lower mean pathogen burdens in visceral organs (spleen, liver) compared to controls, and additionally, blood and peritoneal leucocytes obtained from HN001-fed mice exhibited significantly higher ex vivo phagocytic capacity compared to control-mice. This study affirms that Lb. rhamnosus strain HN001 displays immuno-enhancing properties in S. typhimurium-infected mice, and demonstrates that oral delivery of this probiotic can promote increased protection against a highly virulent enteric bacterial pathogen.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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