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Appl Environ Microbiol. 2014 Jan;80(2):681-6. doi: 10.1128/AEM.03200-13. Epub 2013 Nov 15.

Interaction of Aeromonas strains with lactic acid bacteria via Caco-2 cells.

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Genecology Research Centre, Faculty of Science, Health, Education and Engineering, University of the Sunshine Coast, Maroochydore, Queensland, Australia.


The genus Aeromonas includes some species that have now been identified as human pathogens of significant medical importance. We investigated the ability of 13 selected Aeromonas strains belonging to nine species isolated from clinical cases (n = 5), environmental waters (n = 5), and fish (n = 3) to adhere to and translocate Caco-2 cells in the absence and presence of two lactic acid bacteria (LAB), i.e., Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium breve. Aeromonas isolates were also assessed for their cytotoxicity, the presence of virulence genes, and hemolysin production. Among the clinical isolates, one strain of Aeromonas veronii biovar veronii and two strains of Aeromonas hydrophila carried cytotoxin (act), heat-labile toxin (alt), hemolysin (hlyA), and aerolysin (aerA) genes, were cytotoxic to Vero cells, produced hemolysin, and showed higher adherence to Caco-2 cells. In contrast, this was seen in only one environmental strain, a strain of A. veronii biovar sobria. When Aeromonas strains were coinoculated with LAB onto Caco-2 cells, their level of adhesion was reduced. However, their rate of translocation in the presence of LAB increased and was significantly (P < 0.05) higher among fish strains. We suggest that either the interaction between Aeromonas and LAB strains could have a detrimental effect on the Caco-2 cells, allowing the Aeromonas to translocate more readily, or the presence of the LAB stimulated the Aeromonas strains to produce more toxins and/or increase their translocation rate.

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