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Curr Microbiol. 2014 Oct;69(4):574-9. doi: 10.1007/s00284-014-0623-7. Epub 2014 Jun 14.

Adherence inhibition of Cronobacter sakazakii to intestinal epithelial cells by lactoferrin.

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University of Nebraska Lincoln, Food Science and Technology, Lincoln, NE, USA.


Cronobacter sakazakii is now recognized as an opportunistic pathogen and has been implicated in rare but severe cases of necrotizing enterocolitis, meningitis, and sepsis in neonates. The first step in bacterial pathogenesis requires that the organism adheres to host cells surfaces; therefore, agents that inhibit adherence might be useful for preventing infections. Lactoferrin, an iron binding protein found in milk, has been shown to inhibit bacterial adherence by direct interaction and disruption of bacterial surfaces. Therefore, the goal of this research was to assess the ability of two different types of bovine lactoferrin, alone and in combination with a 1:1 blend of galactooligosaccharides and polydextrose, to inhibit adherence of C. sakazakii to a HEp-2 human cell line. Results showed that the adherence of C. sakazakii was significantly reduced at a minimum lactoferrin concentration of 10 mg/ml. However, in combination with the oligosaccharide blend, no synergistic effect was observed in adherence inhibition. These results suggest that lactoferrin might interact with C. sakazakii and directly inhibit adhesion to tissue culture cells.

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