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Appl Environ Microbiol. 2007 Mar;73(6):1858-63. Epub 2007 Jan 19.

A five-strain probiotic combination reduces pathogen shedding and alleviates disease signs in pigs challenged with Salmonella enterica Serovar Typhimurium.

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Department of Microbiology, University College, College Road, Cork, Ireland.


Salmonella spp. infection is a major cause of gastroenteritis, with many thousands of cases reported in the European Union every year. The use of probiotics offers the potential to improve this situation. Here, we investigate the effects of oral treatment of pigs with a defined lactic acid bacteria culture mixture on both clinical and microbiological signs of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium infection. Fifteen weaned pigs blocked by sex and weight were administered control milk or a mixture of five probiotic strains as either a milk fermentate or milk suspension for a total of 30 days. The mixture consisted of two strains of Lactobacillus murinus and one strain each of Lactobacillus salivarius subsp. salivarius, Lactobacillus pentosus, and Pediococcus pentosaceous. Following probiotic administration for 6 days, animals were challenged orally with serovar Typhimurium; the health of the animals and the microbiological composition of their feces were monitored for 23 days postinfection. Animals treated with probiotic showed reduced incidence, severity, and duration of diarrhea. These animals also gained weight at a greater rate than control pigs administered skim milk. Mean fecal numbers of Salmonella were significantly reduced in probiotic-treated animals at 15 days postinfection (P = 0.01). The administered probiotic bacteria improved both the clinical and microbiological outcome of Salmonella infection. These strains offer significant benefit for use in the food industry and may have potential in human applications.

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