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Microbiol Immunol. 2002;46(11):761-6.

Use of immunoglobulin enriched bovine colostrum against oral challenge with enterohaemorrhagic Escherichia coli O157:H7 in mice.

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Southern Direct Meat Products Inspection Office, Tochigi, Tochigi 328-0033, Japan.


An immunoglobulin enriched bovine colostrum preparation, IMMULAC (New Zealand Dairy Group, Cambridge, New Zealand), contains antibodies against various bacterial antigens. In the present study, we investigated the protective effects of a commercial bovine colostrum preparation against infections with enterohaemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) O157:H7 in a murine model. Balb/c mice were given drinking water containing streptomycin for 3 days before and following oral challenge with streptomycin-resistant EHEC O157:H7 strain (O157-SM(R)). In mice pretreated with streptomycin, EHEC O157:H7 maintained stable levels of bacterial colonization in the intestines for the 3-week experimental time period. Oral administration of colostrum resulted in rapid decrease in the bacteria numbers compared with administration of skim-milk. Colostrum showed no direct in vitro bactericidal properties against either EHEC O157:H7. When sections prepared from cecum walls of streptomycin-pretreated mice were incubated in vitro with EHEC O157:H7, the colostrum significantly prevented the attachment of the organisms to the sections when compared with skim-milk. These results indicate that oral administration of bovine colostrum effectively protects mice against food-borne infections by inhibiting bacterial attachment to the intestinal mucous membrane, colonization and growth in the intestinal tract.

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