, Volume 27, Issue 12, pp 1301-1305
Date: 12 Jul 2011

Escherichia coli translocation in experimental short bowel syndrome: probiotic supplementation and detection by polymerase chain reaction

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After massive bowel resection, bacterial overgrowth is frequent and favors the occurrence of Gram-negative intestinal bacterial translocation (BT). Probiotics have been recommended in several diseases and may also have beneficial effects on BT. Conversely, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technique has shown better sensitivity than conventional methods in bacterial detection and has not been investigated in experimental models of short bowel syndrome and BT.


To test the hypothesis that Bifidobacterium lactis (BL) administration decreases Escherichia coli bacterial translocation (ECBT) in experimental short bowel syndrome and to confirm the better sensitivity of PCR technique to detect ECBT.


Forty-eight adult Wistar rats, orally fed with standard rat chow and tap water ad libitum, were maintained in individual metabolic cages for 10 days and divided into three groups:

  • Control group (n = 15): non-manipulated animals.

  • RES group (n = 15): 80% gut resection. 1 ml of sterile water was administered daily after orogastric intubation.

  • RES-PRO group (n = 18): same resection as RES group and daily administration of 7.8 × 109 BL (CFU).

  • At the end of the study, portal blood, peripheral blood and mesenteric lymph node (MLN) samples were recovered and cultured. Also, genomic DNA from E. coli was detected by PCR technique.


    In conventional culture there was no ECBT in control animals whereas 73% of RES and 33% of RES-PRO animals showed it. PCR detected ECBT in 47, 87 and 33%, respectively, showing higher sensitivity.