Lactiplantibacillus plantarum Strains Modulate Intestinal Innate Immune Response and Increase Resistance to Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli Infection

Ayelen Baillo, Julio Villena, Leonardo Albarracín, Mikado Tomokiyo, Mariano Elean, Kohtaro Fukuyama, Sandra Quilodrán-Vega, Silvina Fadda, Haruki Kitazawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Currently, probiotic bacteria with not transferable antibiotic resistance represent a sustainable strategy for the treatment and prevention of enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) in farm animals. Lactiplantibacillus plantarum is among the most versatile species used in the food industry, either as starter cultures or probiotics. In the present work, the immunobiotic potential of L. plantarum CRL681 and CRL1506 was studied to evaluate their capability to improve the resistance to ETEC infection. In vitro studies using porcine intestinal epithelial (PIE) cells and in vivo experiments in mice were undertaken. Expression analysis indicated that both strains were able to trigger IL-6 and IL-8 expression in PIE cells in steady-state conditions. Furthermore, mice orally treated with these strains had significantly improved levels of IFN-γ and TNF-α in the intestine as well as enhanced activity of peritoneal macrophages. The ability of CRL681 and CRL1506 to beneficially modulate intestinal immunity was further evidenced in ETEC-challenge experiments. In vitro, the CRL1506 and CRL681 strains modulated the expression of inflammatory cytokines (IL-6) and chemokines (IL-8, CCL2, CXCL5 and CXCL9) in ETEC-stimulated PIE cells. In vivo experiments demonstrated the ability of both strains to beneficially regulate the immune response against this pathogen. Moreover, the oral treatment of mice with lactic acid bacteria (LAB) strains significantly reduced ETEC counts in jejunum and ileum and prevented the spread of the pathogen to the spleen and liver. Additionally, LAB treated-mice had improved levels of intestinal IL-10 both at steady state and after the challenge with ETEC. The protective effect against ETEC infection was not observed for the non-immunomodulatory TL2677 strain. Furthermore, the study showed that L. plantarum CRL1506 was more efficient than the CRL681 strain to modulate mucosal immunity highlighting the strain specific character of this probiotic activity. Our results suggest that the improved intestinal epithelial defenses and innate immunity induced by L. plantarum CRL1506 and CRL681 would increase the clearance of ETEC and at the same time, protect the host against detrimental inflammation. These constitute valuable features for future probiotic products able to improve the resistance to ETEC infection.

Original languageEnglish
Article number63
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Jan


  • enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli
  • intestinal immune response
  • lactic acid bacteria
  • Lactiplantibacillus plantarum
  • probiotics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Virology


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