We investigated the mechanism by which an Indian indigenous probiotic culture, Lactobacillus rhamnosus S1K3, could overcome the pathogenic strain Salmonella enterica with an emphasis on the response at the intestinal mucosal level after long-term (30days) consumption. S1K3 was able to produce antimicrobial compounds against the pathogens. The probiotic adhered strongly to intestinal epithelium and maintained its integrity in presence of Salmonella through stimulation of tight junction and antimicrobial peptide genes in vitro. Mice prefed for 30days with S1K3-fermented milk exhibited low incidence of pathogenic Salmonella at mucosal and systemic levels. The probiotic induced TLRs transcripts at the Peyer's patches, followed by an increase in the Secretory-IgA in intestinal fluid, the IgA-secreting cells in lamina propria of small intestine and the IgA level in serum. Moreover, S1K3 maintained the protein level of IL-12, increased the IL-4 and reduced the TGF-β level in intestinal fluid/serum at the later stage of infection. All these actions concurred to lower the count of Salmonella in feces, its invasion in spleen, liver and intestine tissues and improved the health status of probiotic-fed group. In view of this performance, S1K3 appears to be a suitable candidate for the development of nutraceutical food.
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