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Drug Discov Ther. 2018;12(5):291-294. doi: 10.5582/ddt.2018.01048.

Establishment of a gnotobiotic silkworm model.

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Genome Pharmaceuticals Institute Co., Ltd.
Teikyo University Institute of Medical Mycology.


Gnotobiotic animals are useful for investigation of the effects of specific lactic acid bacteria on individual animals. Here we report that lactic acid bacteria colonize and proliferate in the intestinal tract of germ-free silkworms. When silkworms hatching from formalin-treated eggs were reared to fifth-instar larvae with an artificial diet containing antibiotics, bacteria and fungi were not observed in their intestines. An antibiotic-free diet supplemented with viable lactic acid bacteria, such as Enterococcus faecalis 0831-07, Lactococcus lactis 11/19-B1, or Leuconostoc carnosum #7-2, was fed to the germ-free silkworms for 1 day. After feeding the larvae on a diet without lactic acid bacteria for 5 days, each type of lactic acid bacterium was found in the intestine. Moreover, an increase in the number of Enterococcus faecalis 0831-07 was observed in the intestine 2-5 days after ingestion. These findings suggest that we successfully established a method to construct a gnotobiotic silkworm model.


Gnotobiotic animal; lactic acid bacteria; silkworm

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