Probiotics Influence F4 (K88)-Positive Enterotoxigenic <em>E. coli</em> Attachment and Intestinal Cytokine Expression in Weaned Pigs

by 5m Editor
2 August 2011, at 12:00am

One of the probiotics tested modulated intestinal immune functions and influenced host interaction with ETEC F4 and so could be a complementary approach to consider in strategies to improve intestinal health and reduce the use of antibiotics in weaner feed, according to researchers based in Quebec, Canada.

Jean-François Daudelin of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada in Quebec and co-authors there and at the University of Montreal and Transbiotech have published a paper in the journal, Veterinary Research, in which they report their evaluation of the effect of the probiotics, Pediococcus acidilactici and Saccharomyces cerevisiae boulardii, on the intestinal colonization of O149 enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli harbouring the F4 (K88) fimbriae (ETEC F4) and on the expression of ileal cytokines in weaned pigs.

At birth, different litters of pigs were randomly assigned to one of the following treatments: 1) control without antibiotics or probiotics (CTRL); 2) reference group in which chlortetracycline and tiamulin were added to weanling feed (ATB); 3) P. acidilactici; 4) S. cerevisiae boulardii; or 5) P. acidilactici + S. cerevisiae boulardii.

Probiotics were administered daily (1 × 109 CFU per pig) during the lactation period and after weaning (day 21).

At 28 days of age, all pigs were orally challenged with an ETEC F4 strain, and a necropsy was performed 24 hours later. Intestinal segments were collected to evaluate bacterial colonisation in the small intestine and ileal cytokine expressions.

Attachment of ETEC F4 to the intestinal mucosa was significantly reduced in pigs treated with P. acidilactici or S. cerevisiae boulardii in comparison with the ATB group (P=0.01 and P=0.03, respectively).

In addition, proinflammatory cytokines, such as IL-6, were up-regulated in ETEC F4 challenged pigs treated with P. acidilactici alone or in combination with S. cerevisiae boulardii compared with the CTRL group.

Daudelin and co-authors concluded that the administration of P. acidilactici or S. cerevisiae boulardii was effective in reducing ETEC F4 attachment to the ileal mucosa, whereas the presence of P. acidilactici was required to modulate the expression of intestinal inflammatory cytokines in pigs challenged with ETEC F4.


Daudelin J-F., M. Lessard, F. Beaudoin, É, Nadeau, N. Bissonnette, Y. Boutin, J-P. Brousseau, K. Lauzon and J.M. Fairbrother. 2011. Administration of probiotics influences F4 (K88)-positive enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli attachment and intestinal cytokine expression in weaned pigs. Veterinary Research, 42:69. doi:10.1186/1297-9716-42-69

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August 2011
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