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Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2003 Jul 1;18(1):45-56.

Inhibitory effect of probiotic Escherichia coli strain Nissle 1917 on adhesion to and invasion of intestinal epithelial cells by adherent-invasive E. coli strains isolated from patients with Crohn's disease.

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Pathogénie Bactérienne Intestinale, Laboratoire de Bactériologie, Université d'Auvergne, Clermont-Ferrand, France.



Pathogenic adherent-invasive Escherichia coli have been isolated from ileal lesions of Crohn's disease.


: To investigate the non-pathogenic E. coli strain Nissle 1917 (Mutaflor) as possible maintenance therapy in inflammatory bowel disease by testing its ability to prevent adherent-invasive E. coli strains from adhering to and invading human intestinal epithelial cells in vitro.


Bacterial adhesion to and invasion of intestinal epithelial cells (Intestine-407) were assessed by counting the colony-forming units. The inhibitory effect of E. coli Nissle 1917 was determined after co-incubation with adherent-invasive E. coli strains or after pre-incubation of the intestinal epithelial cells with this probiotic strain prior to infection with adherent-invasive E. coli strains.


Strain Nissle 1917 exhibited dose- and time-dependent adherence to intestinal epithelial cells and inhibited the adhesion and invasion of various adherent-invasive E. coli strains. In co-infection experiments, the inhibitory effect on adherent-invasive E. coli adhesion reached 78-99.9%. Pre-incubation of intestinal epithelial cells with strain Nissle 1917 reduced adherent-invasive E. coli adhesion by 97.2-99.9%. The inhibitory effect on adherent-invasive E. coli invasion paralleled that on adhesion.


As strong and significant inhibitory effects on adherent-invasive E. coli adhesion and invasion were observed in co-infection and pre-infection experiments, E. coli Nissle 1917 could be efficient for preventive or curative probiotic therapy in patients with Crohn's disease.

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