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The probiotic lactic acid bacterium Lactobacillus rhamnosus (strain HN001) is known to stimulate enhanced innate and acquired immune responses in mice. following oral delivery. Here, the ability of HN001 to confer immune enhancement and protection against an oral challenge of Salmonella tYphimurium was investigated. HN001-fed and non-probiotic-fed control BALB/c mice were challenged with either a single dose of S. typhimurium (ATCC strain 1772), or with five repeated daily doses of the pathogen; post-challenge clinical, behavioural, bacteriological and immunological parameters were assessed. Mice began to show ostensible signs of infection 3-4 days following the initiation of Salmonella challenge, and the first mortalities were observed after 6 days. Following single-dose Salmonella challenge, HN001-fed mice maintained a higher mean pre-mortality general health score than control mice; retained significantly greater food and water intake and weight gain, produced higher titres of serum and intestinal tract anti-Salmonella antibodies, and showed greater overall survival of infection (27/30 mice surviving at 21 days post-challenge, compared to 2/29 in the control group). Following repeated-dose Salmonella challenge, HN001-fed mice had significantly lower mean pathogen burdens in visceral organs (spleen, liver) compared to controls, and additionally, blood and peritoneal leucocytes obtained from HN001-fed mice exhibited significantly higher ex vivo phagocytic capacity compared to control-mice. This study affirms that Lb. rhamnosus strain HN001 displays immuno-enhancing properties in S. typhimurium-infected mice, and demonstrates that oral delivery of this probiotic can promote increased protection against a highly virulent enteric bacterial pathogen.

Research Insights

SupplementHealth OutcomeEffect TypeEffect Size
Lactobacillus rhamnosus NH001Enhanced Anti-Salmonella Antibody ProductionBeneficial
Lactobacillus rhamnosus NH001Enhanced Phagocytic Capacity of LeukocytesBeneficial
Lactobacillus rhamnosus NH001Improved Overall Survival During InfectionBeneficial
Lactobacillus rhamnosus NH001Improved Pre-Mortality General Health ScoreBeneficial
Lactobacillus rhamnosus NH001Reduced Pathogen Load in Visceral OrgansBeneficial
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