An increasing body of evidence suggests that probiotic bacteria are effective in the treatment of enteric infections, although the molecular basis of this activity remains elusive. To identify putative probiotics, we tested commensal bacteria in terms of their toxicity, invasiveness, inhibition of Yersinia-induced inflammation in vitro and in vivo, and modulation of dextran sodium sulfate (DSS)-induced colitis in mice. The commensal bacteria Escherichia coli, Bifidobacterium adolescentis, Bacteroides vulgatus, Bacteroides distasonis, and Streptococcus salivarius were screened for adhesion to, invasion of, and toxicity for host epithelial cells (EC), and the strains were tested for their ability to inhibit Y. enterocolitica-induced NF-kappaB activation. Additionally, B. adolescentis was administered to mice orally infected with Y. enterocolitica and to mice with mucosae impaired by DSS treatment. None of the commensal bacteria tested was toxic for or invaded the EC. B. adolescentis, B. distasonis, B. vulgatus, and S. salivarius inhibited the Y. enterocolitica-induced NF-kappaB activation and interleukin-8 production in EC. In line with these findings, B. adolescentis-fed mice had significantly lower results for mean pathogen burden in the visceral organs, intestinal tumor necrosis factor alpha mRNA expression, and loss of body weight upon oral infection with Y. enterocolitica. In addition, the administration of B. adolescentis decelerated inflammation upon DSS treatment in mice. We suggest that our approach might help to identify new probiotics to be used for the treatment of inflammatory and infectious gastrointestinal disorders.
2007. Vol. 75, no 7, 3490-7 p.