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Gut. 1998 Aug;43(2):196-202.

Bromelain protects piglets from diarrhoea caused by oral challenge with K88 positive enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli.

Author information

1
Victorian Institute of Animal Science, Attwood, Australia.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

K88 positive enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (K88+ ETEC) is an important cause of diarrhoea in young piglets. K88+ ETEC pathogenesis relies on attachment to specific glycoprotein receptors located on the intestinal mucosa. Proteolytic treatment of these receptors in vitro and in vivo prevents attachment of K88+ ETEC to piglet small intestines and may be of clinical use to prevent K88+ ETEC pathogenesis.

AIMS:

To determine whether bromelain, a proteolytic extract obtained from pineapple stems, would protect piglets against K88+ ETEC diarrhoea and to confirm and extend earlier findings on the effects of bromelain on K88+ ETEC receptors in vivo.

METHODS:

Bromelain (0, 12.5, or 125 mg) was orally administered to just weaned piglets for 10 days. One day following commencement of bromelain treatment, piglets were challenged with K88+ ETEC (5 x 10(10) K88ac:0149) for seven days. Intestinal contents from unchallenged piglets were obtained via an intestinal fistula, and tested for their ability to bind K88+ ETEC before and after bromelain treatment.

RESULTS:

Both doses of bromelain were successful in reducing the incidence of K88+ ETEC diarrhoea and protected piglets from life threatening disease. Bromelain treated pigs also had significantly increased weight gain compared with untreated pigs. Bromelain only temporarily inhibited K88+ ETEC receptor activity, with receptor activity being regenerated 30 hours following treatment, consistent with the regeneration of new enterocytes.

CONCLUSION:

Results show that bromelain can temporarily inactivate ETEC receptors in vivo and protect against ETEC induced diarrhoea. Bromelain may therefore be an effective prophylaxis against ETEC infection.

PMID:
10189844
PMCID:
PMC1727222
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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