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Gut Pathog. 2009 Jul 9;1(1):14. doi: 10.1186/1757-4749-1-14.

Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium adhesion and cytotoxicity during epithelial cell stress is reduced by Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG.

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Molecular Food Microbiology Laboratory, Department of Food Science, 745 Agriculture Mall Drive, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana 47907-2009, USA.



Physiological stressors may alter susceptibility of the host intestinal epithelium to infection by enteric pathogens. In the current study, cytotoxic effect, adhesion and invasion of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium (S. Typhimurium) to Caco-2 cells exposed to thermal stress (41 degrees C, 1 h) was investigated. Probiotic bacteria have been shown to reduce interaction of pathogens with the epithelium under non-stress conditions and may have a significant effect on epithelial viability during infection; however, probiotic effect on pathogen interaction with epithelial cells under physiological stress is not known. Therefore, we investigated the influence of Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG and Lactobacillus gasseri on Salmonella adhesion and Salmonella-induced cytotoxicity of Caco-2 cells subjected to thermal stress.


Thermal stress increased the cytotoxic effect of both S. Typhimurium (P = 0.0001) and nonpathogenic E. coli K12 (P = 0.004) to Caco-2 cells, and resulted in greater susceptibility of cell monolayers to S. Typhimurium adhesion (P = 0.001). Thermal stress had no significant impact on inflammatory cytokines released by Caco-2 cells, although exposure to S. Typhimurium resulted in greater than 80% increase in production of IL-6 and IL-8. Blocking S. Typhimurium with anti-ShdA antibody prior to exposure of Salmonella decreased adhesion (P = 0.01) to non-stressed and thermal-stressed Caco-2 cells. Pre-exposure of Caco-2 cells to L. rhamnosus GG significantly reduced Salmonella-induced cytotoxicity (P = 0.001) and Salmonella adhesion (P = 0.001) to Caco-2 cells during thermal stress, while L. gasseri had no effect.


Results suggest that thermal stress increases susceptibility of intestinal epithelial Caco-2 cells to Salmonella adhesion, and increases the cytotoxic effect of Salmonella during infection. Use of L. rhamnosus GG as a probiotic may reduce the severity of infection during epithelial cell stress. Mechanisms by which thermal stress increases susceptibility to S. Typhimurium colonization and by which L. rhamnosus GG limits the severity of infection remain to be elucidated.

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