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Antonie Van Leeuwenhoek. 2009 Nov;96(4):505-13. doi: 10.1007/s10482-009-9366-z. Epub 2009 Jul 25.

Kefiran protects Caco-2 cells from cytopathic effects induced by Bacillus cereus infection.

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  • 1Centro de Investigación y Desarrollo en Criotecnología de Alimentos, CCT La Plata-CONICET, UNLP. 47 y 116 (s/n), La Plata 1900, Argentina.


The aim of this work was to evaluate the ability of kefiran to antagonize cytopathic effects triggered by Bacillus cereus strain B10502 on cultured human enterocytes (Caco-2 cells). Cell damage was evaluated by F-actin labelling, scanning electron microscopy and determination of ratios of necrotic and detached cells. To assess the interaction between kefiran and bacteria or eukaryotic cells, flow cytometric analysis was conducted with FITC-labelled kefiran. Kefiran significantly protected infected cells from cytopathic effects induced by B. cereus such as cell necrosis, F-actin disorganisation and microvilli effacement, although presence of kefiran did not modify the adhesion of microorganisms to cultured human enterocytes. Results could be ascribed to the ability of kefiran to interact with both bacteria and eukaryotic cells thus antagonizing interactions necessary for maximal biological effects. Our findings encourage further research on the use of bacterial exopolysaccharides to antagonize virulence factors associated to direct bacteria-cell interactions.

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