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Int J Food Microbiol. 2008 Jul 31;125(3):286-92. doi: 10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro.2008.04.012. Epub 2008 Apr 30.

Interaction of probiotic Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium strains with human intestinal epithelial cells: adhesion properties, competition against enteropathogens and modulation of IL-8 production.

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Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Bologna, Via Belmeloro 6, 40126 Bologna, Italy.


The human intestinal microbiota plays a pivotal role in human nutrition and health by promoting the supply of nutrients, preventing pathogen colonization and shaping and maintaining normal mucosal immunity. The depletion of the individual microbiota can result in a higher susceptibility to enteropathogenic bacteria infection. In order to reduce this risk, the use of food supplements containing probiotic bacteria has been recently addressed. In this paper, we investigate the protective role toward enteropathogen infection of probiotic strains belonging to Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. According to our experimental data, Lactobacillus acidophilus Bar13, L. plantarum Bar10, Bifidobacterium longum Bar33 and B. lactis Bar30 were effective in displacing the enteropathogens Salmonella typhimurium and Escherichia coli H10407 from a Caco-2 cell layer. Moreover, L. acidophilus Bar13 and B. longum Bar33 have been assessed for their immunomodulatory activity on IL-8 production by HT29 cells. Both strains showed the potential to protect enterocytes from an acute inflammatory response. These probiotic strains are potential candidates for the development of new functional foods helpful in counteracting enteropathogen infections.

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