Comparative in vitro inhibition of urinary tract pathogens by single- and multi-strain probiotics
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Multi-species probiotic preparations have been suggested as having a wide spectrum of application, although few studies have compared their efficacy with that of individual component strains at equal concentrations. We therefore tested the ability of 4 single probiotics and 4 probiotic mixtures to inhibit the urinary tract pathogens Escherichia coli NCTC 9001 and Enterococcus faecalis NCTC 00775.
We used an agar spot test to test the ability of viable cells to inhibit pathogens, while a broth inhibition assay was used to assess inhibition by cell-free probiotic supernatants in both pH-neutralised and non-neutralised forms.
In the agar spot test, all probiotic treatments showed inhibition, L. acidophilus was the most inhibitory single strain against E. faecalis, L. fermentum the most inhibitory against E. coli. A commercially available mixture of 14 strains (Bio-Kult®) was the most effective mixture, against E. faecalis, the 3-lactobacillus mixture the most inhibitory against E. coli. Mixtures were not significantly more inhibitory than single strains. In the broth inhibition assays, all probiotic supernatants inhibited both pathogens when pH was not controlled, with only 2 treatments causing inhibition at a neutral pH.
Both viable cells of probiotics and supernatants of probiotic cultures were able to inhibit growth of two urinary tract pathogens. Probiotic mixtures prevented the growth of urinary tract pathogens but were not significantly more inhibitory than single strains. Probiotics appear to produce metabolites that are inhibitory towards urinary tract pathogens. Probiotics display potential to reduce the incidence of urinary tract infections via inhibition of colonisation.
KeywordsProbiotic Multi-species Urinary Pathogen
This work forms part of a PhD project funded by Probiotics International, Somerset, UK. Probiotics International had no role in the preparation of the article, study design, data collection, analysis, interpretation, or report writing.
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