In vitro inhibition of expression of virulence genes responsible for colonization and systemic spread of enteric pathogens using Bifidobacterium bifidum secreted molecules

Int J Food Microbiol. 2012 Jun 1;156(3):255-63. doi: 10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro.2012.03.034. Epub 2012 Apr 6.


Enteric pathogens such as Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium and Enterohaemorrhagic Escherichia coli require an initial indispensable step of attachment or invasion of enterocytes before they can produce systemic disease and translocate to their target organs. Prevention of either of these steps will result in an avirulent state and limit their pathogenicity. In vitro tests demonstrated that molecules secreted by Bifidobacterium bifidum interfere with both attachment and invasion. The main regulatory genes controlling the virulence factors essential for these pathogenicity steps were efficiently down-regulated when treated with chromatographically separated B. bifidum cell free fractions as measured by reporter constructs and confirmed by RT-PCR. Moreover, the ability of both pathogens to colonize eukaryotic cells was significantly reduced, and the capacity of Salmonella to survive and multiply within macrophages was also diminished upon treatment with these bioactive molecules. These results indicate that probiotic Bifidobacteria strains may represent an effective alternative approach to control food-borne enteric pathogens.

MeSH terms

  • Bifidobacterium / pathogenicity*
  • Down-Regulation
  • Escherichia coli / pathogenicity
  • Macrophages / microbiology
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Probiotics / pharmacology*
  • Salmonella Infections / prevention & control
  • Salmonella enterica / genetics
  • Salmonella enterica / pathogenicity*
  • Virulence
  • Virulence Factors / genetics
  • Virulence Factors / pharmacology


  • Virulence Factors