Adhesion and aggregation properties of probiotic and pathogen strains
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Autoaggregation has been correlated with adhesion, which is known to be a prerequisite for colonization and infection of the gastrointestinal tract by many pathogens. The coaggregation properties of probiotic strains with pathogens as well as their ability to displace pathogens are of importance for therapeutic manipulation of the aberrant intestinal microbiota. Consequently, the ability to aggregate and coaggregate are desirable properties for probiotics in health-promoting foods. Aggregation assays and bacterial adhesion to hydrocarbons (BATH test) demonstrated significant differences in cell surface properties among the tested commercial probiotic strains. Hydrophobicity increased when the cells were heat-inactivated. All probiotic strains tested showed aggregation abilities with the pathogen strains tested, but the results were strain-specific and dependent on time and incubation conditions. Our results indicate that the ability to autoaggregate, together with cell-surface hydrophobicity and coaggregation abilities with pathogen strains can be used for preliminary screening in order to identify potentially probiotic bacteria suitable for human or animal use.
KeywordsAdhesion Probiotics Pathogens Aggregation
The authors gratefully acknowledge financial support from the Academy of Finland, Research Council for Biosciences and Environment (decision number 210309 to Åbo Akademi and 210310 to University of Turku). M.C. Collado is the recipient of Excellence Postdoctoral grant from Conselleria Empresa, Universidad y Ciencia de la Generalitat Valenciana, Spain (BPOSTDOC 06/016).
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