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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Supplementation with Lactobacillus reuteri or L. acidophilus reduced intestinal shedding of cryptosporidium parvum oocysts in immunodeficient C57BL/6 mice.

The effect of L. acidophilus supplementation to reduce fecal shedding of Cryptosporidium parvum oocysts was compared to L. reuteri using C57BL/6 female mice immunosuppressed by murine leukemia virus (strain LP-BM5) inoculation. After 12 weeks post LP-BM5 inoculation, 15 immunosuppressed mice each were randomly assinged to one of the following treatment groups: historical control (group A), LP-BM5 control (group B), C. parvum (group C), L. reuteri plus C. parvum (group D) or L. acidophilus plus C. parvum (group E). Mice were pre-fed the L. reuteri or L. acidophilus bacteria strains daily for 13 days, challenged with C. parvum oocysts and thereafter fed the specified Lactobacillus regimens daily during the experimental period. Animals supplemented with L. reuteri shed fewer (p<0.05) oocysts on day-7 post C. parvum challenge compared to controls. Mice supplemented with L. acidophilus also shed fewer (p<0.05) oocysts on days 7 and 14 post-challenge compared to controls. Overall, Lactobacillus supplementation reduced C. parvum shedding in the feces but failed to suppress the production of T-helper type 2 cytokines [ interleukin-4 ( IL-4), IL-8)] which are associated with immunosuppression. Additionally, Lactobacillus supplementation did not restore T-helper type 1 cytokines ( interleukin-2 ( IL-2) and gamma interferon ( IFN-gamma), which are required for recovery from parasitic infections. Altered T-helper types 1 and 2 cytokine production as a consequence of immunodysfunction permitted the development of persistent cryptosporidiosis while mice with intact immune system were refractory to infection with C. parvum. Reduction in shedding of oocysts observed in the Lactobacillus supplemented mice during deminished IL-2 and IFN-gamma production may be mediated by factors released into the intestinal lumen by the Lactobacillus and possibly other host cellular mechanisms. These observations suggest that L. reuteri or L. acidophilus can reduce C. parvum parasite burdens in the intestinal epithelium during cryptosporidiosis and may serve potential benefits as probiotics for host resistance to intestinal parasitic infections. L. acidophilus was more efficacious in reducing fecal shedding than L. reuteri and therefore may also have implication in the therapy of cryptosporidiosis during immunosuppressive states including human AIDS.[1]


  1. Supplementation with Lactobacillus reuteri or L. acidophilus reduced intestinal shedding of cryptosporidium parvum oocysts in immunodeficient C57BL/6 mice. Alak, J.I., Wolf, B.W., Mdurvwa, E.G., Pimentel-Smith, G.E., Kolavala, S., Abdelrahman, H., Suppiramaniam, V. Cell. Mol. Biol. (Noisy-le-grand) (1999) [Pubmed]
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