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Int J Food Microbiol. 2007 Mar 20;114(3):267-74. Epub 2006 Dec 5.

Lactobacillus fermentum BR11, a potential new probiotic, alleviates symptoms of colitis induced by dextran sulfate sodium (DSS) in rats.

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Centre for Paediatric and Adolescent Gastroenterology, Children, Youth and Women's Health Service, 72 King William Road, North Adelaide, South Australia, 5006, Australia.


Current treatments for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are relatively ineffective. Recently, probiotics have emerged as a potential treatment modality for numerous gastrointestinal disorders, including IBD. Few probiotics, however, have undergone appropriate preclinical screening in vivo. The current study compared the effects of four candidate probiotics on development of dextran sulfate sodium (DSS)-induced colitis in rats. Sprague Dawley rats were gavaged 1 mL of the potential probiotic (1 x 10(10) CFU/mL), or vehicle, twice daily for 14 days. Strains tested were Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (LGG), Streptococcus thermophilus TH-4 (TH-4), Bifidobacterium lactis Bb12 (Bb12) and Lactobacillus fermentum BR11 (BR11). Colitis was induced from day 7 to 14 via administration of 2% DSS in drinking water. Disease activity index (DAI) was monitored daily until rats were killed at day 14. DAI decreased in DSS+Bb12 and DSS+BR11 compared to DSS+Vehicle. Colon length increased in DSS+BR11 (10%) and DSS+LGG (10%) compared to DSS+Vehicle. DSS+Bb12 and DSS+BR11 prevented the distal colon crypt hyperplasia evident in DSS+Vehicle, DSS+LGG and DSS+TH-4. BR11 was most effective at reducing colitic symptoms. Bb12 had minimal effects, whilst TH-4 did not prevent DSS-colitis and LGG actually exacerbated some indicators of colitis. Further studies into the potential benefits of L. fermentum BR11 are indicated.

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