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Eur J Microbiol Immunol (Bp). 2013 Jun;3(2):126-34. doi: 10.1556/EuJMI.3.2013.2.6. Epub 2013 Jun 5.

Pro-inflammatory potential of Escherichia coli strains K12 and Nissle 1917 in a murine model of acute ileitis.

Abstract

Non-pathogenic Escherichia coli (Ec) strains K12 (EcK12) and Nissle 1917 (EcN) are used for gene technology and probiotic treatment of intestinal inflammation, respectively. We investigated intestinal colonization and potential pro-inflammatory properties of EcK12, EcN, and commensal E. coli (EcCo) strains in Toxoplasma (T.) gondii-induced acute ileitis. Whereas gnotobiotic animals generated by quintuple antibiotic treatment were protected from ileitis, mice replenished with conventional microbiota suffered from small intestinal necrosis 7 days post-T. gondii infection (p.i.). Irrespective of the Ec strain, recolonized mice revealed mild to moderate histopathological changes in their ileal mucosa. Upon stable recolonization with EcK12, EcN, or EcCo, development of inflammation was accompanied by pro-inflammatory responses at day 7 p.i., including increased ileal T lymphocyte and apoptotic cell numbers compared to T. gondii-infected gnotobiotic controls. Strikingly, either Ec strain was capable to translocate to extra-intestinal locations, such as MLN, spleen, and liver. Taken together, Ec strains used in gene technology and probiotic treatment are able to exert inflammatory responses in a murine model of small intestinal inflammation. In conclusion, the therapeutic use of Ec strains in patients with broad-spectrum antibiotic treatment and/or intestinal inflammation should be considered with caution.

KEYWORDS:

gnotobiotic mice, Escherichia coli, E. coli Nissle 1917, E. coli K12, security strains, probiotic, colonization resistance, Toxoplasma gondii, ileitis, acute intestinal inflammation, Th1-type immunopathology, T lymphocytes, bacterial translocation, mesent

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