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J Dairy Sci. 2010 Feb;93(2):473-82. doi: 10.3168/jds.2009-2381.

Blocking of Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Chromobacterium violaceum lectins by diverse mammalian milks.

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The Mina and Everard Goodman Faculty of Life Sciences, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan 52900, Israel.


Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Chromobacterium violaceum morbid and mortal infections are initiated by bacterial adherence to host-cell receptors via their adhesins, including lectins (which also contribute to bacterial biofilm formation). Pseudomonas aeruginosa produces a galactophilic lectin, PA-IL (LecA), and a fucophilic (Lewis-specific) lectin, PA-IIL (LecB), and C. violaceum produces a fucophilic (H-specific) lectin, CV-IIL. The antibiotic resistance of these bacteria prompted the search for glycosylated receptor-mimicking compounds that would function as glycodecoys for blocking lectin attachment to human cell receptors. Lectins PA-IL and PA-IIL have been shown to be useful for such glycodecoy probing, clearly differentiating between human and cow milks. This article describes their usage, together with CV-IIL and the plant lectin concanavalin A, for comparing the anti-lectin-dependent adhesion potential of diverse mammalian milks. The results show that the diverse milks differ in blocking (hemagglutination inhibition) and differential binding (Western blots) of these lectins. Human milk most strongly inhibited the 3 bacterial lectins (with PA-IIL superiority), followed by alpaca, giraffe, and monkey milks, whereas cow milk was a weak inhibitor. Lectin PA-IL was inhibited strongly by human, followed by alpaca, mare, giraffe, buffalo, and monkey milks, weakly by camel milk, and not at all by rabbit milk. Lectins PA-IIL and CV-IIL were also most sensitive to human milk, followed by alpaca, monkey, giraffe, rabbit, and camel milks but negligibly sensitive to buffalo and mare milks. Plant lectin concanavalinA, which was used as the reference, differed from them in that it was much less sensitive to human milk and was equally as sensitive to cow milk. These results have provided important information on the anti-lectin-dependent adhesion potential of the diverse milks examined. They showed that human followed by alpaca, giraffe, and Rhesus monkey milks efficiently blocked the binding of both the galactophilic and fucophilic (>mannophilic) pathogen lectins. The results also proved the advantage of isolated pathogenic bacterial lectins as superb probes for unveiling bacterial adhesion-blocking glycodecoys. The chosen milks or their polymeric glycans might be implicated in blocking lectin-dependent adhesion of antibiotic-resistant pathogens leading to skin, eye, ear, and gastrointestinal infections.

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