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Appl Environ Microbiol. 1993 Dec;59(12):4121-8.

Adhesion of human bifidobacterial strains to cultured human intestinal epithelial cells and inhibition of enteropathogen-cell interactions.

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  • 1Département de Microbiologie, UFR Sciences Pharmaceutiques Paris XI, Châtenay-Malabry, France.


Thirteen human bifidobacterial strains were tested for their abilities to adhere to human enterocyte-like Caco-2 cells in culture. The adhering strains were also tested for binding to the mucus produced by the human mucus-secreting HT29-MTX cell line in culture. A high level of calcium-independent adherence was observed for Bifidobacterium breve 4, for Bifidobacterium infantis 1, and for three fresh human isolates from adults. As observed by scanning electron microscopy, adhesion occurs to the apical brush border of the enterocytic Caco-2 cells and to the mucus secreted by the HT29-MTX mucus-secreting cells. The bacteria interacted with the well-defined apical microvilli of Caco-2 cells without cell damage. The adhesion to Caco-2 cells of bifidobacteria did not require calcium and was mediated by a proteinaceous adhesion-promoting factor which was present both in the bacterial whole cells and in the spent supernatant of bifidobacterium culture. This adhesion-promoting factor appeared species specific, as are the adhesion-promoting factors of lactobacilli. We investigated the inhibitory effect of adhering human bifidobacterial strains against intestinal cell monolayer colonization by a variety of diarrheagenic bacteria. B. breve 4, B. infantis 1, and fresh human isolates were shown to inhibit cell association of enterotoxigenic, enteropathogenic, diffusely adhering Escherichia coli and Salmonella typhimurium strains to enterocytic Caco-2 cells in a concentration-dependent manner. Moreover, B. breve 4 and B. infantis 1 strains inhibited, dose dependently, Caco-2 cell invasion by enteropathogenic E. coli, Yersinia pseudotuberculosis, and S. typhimurium strains.

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