Interference of Lactobacillus plantarum with Pseudomonas aeruginosa in vitro and in infected burns: the potential use of probiotics in wound treatment

Clin Microbiol Infect. 2005 Jun;11(6):472-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-0691.2005.01142.x.


This study evaluated the ability of the probiotic organism Lactobacillus plantarum to inhibit the pathogenic activity of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, both in vitro and in vivo, and investigated the mechanisms involved in such protection. L. plantarum whole cultures, culture filtrates (acid filtrate and neutralised acid filtrate) and isolated, washed cells were tested in vitro for their effects on the production of the P. aeruginosa quorum-sensing signal molecules, acyl-homoserine-lactones (AHLs), and two virulence factors controlled by these signal molecules, elastase and biofilm. All were inhibited by L. plantarum cultures and filtrates, but not by isolated, washed cells. The acid L. plantarum growth medium itself had some inhibitory activity, but the greatest activity was exerted by the whole culture. To test the in-vivo activity of L. plantarum, a burned-mouse model was used in which burns infected with P. aeruginosa were treated with L. plantarum at 3, 4, 5, 7 and 9 days post-infection. Samples from skin, liver and spleen taken after 5, 10 and 15 days demonstrated inhibition of P. aeruginosa colonisation by L. plantarum. There was also an improvement in tissue repair, enhanced phagocytosis of P. aeruginosa by tissue phagocytes, and a decrease in apoptosis at 10 days. These results indicate that L. plantarum and/or its by-products are potential therapeutic agents for the local treatment of P. aeruginosa burn infections.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibiosis
  • Biofilms / growth & development
  • Burns / therapy*
  • Carboxylic Ester Hydrolases / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Culture Media, Conditioned
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Humans
  • Lactobacillus / physiology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Pancreatic Elastase / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Phagocytosis
  • Probiotics / administration & dosage
  • Probiotics / therapeutic use*
  • Pseudomonas Infections / therapy*
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa / growth & development
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa / pathogenicity
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa / physiology*
  • Time Factors
  • Wound Infection / therapy


  • Culture Media, Conditioned
  • Carboxylic Ester Hydrolases
  • N-acyl homoserine lactonase
  • Pancreatic Elastase