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Protective action of Bacillus clausii probiotic strains in an in vitro model of Rotavirus infection

  • 2020-07-28
  • Scientific Reports 10(1)
    • L. Paparo
    • L. Tripodi
    • C. Bruno
    • L. Pisapia
    • C. Damiano
    • L. Pastore
    • R. Berni Canani


Rotavirus is the most common cause of acute gastroenteritis (AGE) in young children. Bacillus clausii (B. clausii) is a spore-forming probiotic that is able to colonize the gut. A mixture of four B. clausii strains (O/C, T, SIN and N/R) is commonly used for the treatment of AGE, and it has been demonstrated that it can reduce the duration and severity of diarrhea in children with AGE. Few studies have sought to characterize the mechanisms responsible for such beneficial effects. Intestinal effects of probiotics are likely to be strain-specific. We conducted a series of in vitro experiments investigating the activities of this mixture of B. clausii strains on biomarkers of mucosal barrier integrity and immune function in a cellular model of Rotavirus infection. B. clausii protected enterocytes against Rotavirus-induced decrease in trans-epithelial electrical resistance, and up-regulated expression of mucin 5AC and tight junction proteins (occludin and zonula occludens-1), all of which are important for effective mucosal barrier function. B. clausii also inhibited reactive oxygen species production and release of pro-inflammatory cytokines (interleukin-8 and interferon-β) in Rotavirus-infected cells, and down-regulated pro-inflammatory Toll-like receptor 3 pathway gene expression. Such mechanisms likely contributed to the observed protective effects of B. clausii against reduced cell proliferation and increased apoptosis in Rotavirus-infected enterocytes.

Research Insights

SupplementHealth OutcomeEffect TypeEffect Size
Bacillus clausiiProtection Against Rotavirus Infection in EnterocytesBeneficial
Bacillus clausii MTCC 5980Improved Intestinal Barrier FunctionBeneficial
Bacillus clausii MTCC 5980Reduced Inflammation LevelsBeneficial
Bacillus clausii SNZ-1971Improved Immunologic Barrier FunctionBeneficial
Bacillus clausii SNZ-1971Reduced Apoptosis of Jejunal Mucosal CellsBeneficial
Bacillus clausii SNZ-1971Reduced Inflammation LevelsBeneficial
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