Impact of lactobacilli on orally acquired listeriosis

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012 Oct 9;109(41):16684-9. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1212809109. Epub 2012 Sep 24.


Listeria monocytogenes is a foodborne pathogen that crosses the intestinal barrier and disseminates within the host. Here, we report a unique comprehensive analysis of the impact of two Lactobacillus species, Lactobacillus paracasei CNCM I-3689 and Lactobacillus casei BL23, on L. monocytogenes and orally acquired listeriosis in a gnotobiotic humanized mouse model. We first assessed the effect of treatment with each Lactobacillus on L. monocytogenes counts in host tissues and showed that each decreases L. monocytogenes systemic dissemination in orally inoculated mice. A whole genome intestinal transcriptomic analysis revealed that each Lactobacillus changes expression of a specific subset of genes during infection, with IFN-stimulated genes (ISGs) being the most affected by both lactobacilli. We also examined microRNA (miR) expression and showed that three miRs (miR-192, miR-200b, and miR-215) are repressed during L. monocytogenes infection. Treatment with each Lactobacillus increased miR-192 expression, whereas only L. casei association increased miR-200b and miR-215 expression. Finally, we showed that treatment with each Lactobacillus significantly reshaped the L. monocytogenes transcriptome and up-regulated transcription of L. monocytogenes genes encoding enzymes allowing utilization of intestinal carbon and nitrogen sources in particular genes involved in propanediol and ethanolamine catabolism and cobalamin biosynthesis. Altogether, these data reveal that the modulation of L. monocytogenes infection by treatment with lactobacilli correlates with a decrease in host gene expression, in particular ISGs, miR regulation, and a dramatic reshaping of L. monocytogenes transcriptome.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibiosis / physiology*
  • Gene Expression / drug effects
  • Genes, Bacterial / genetics
  • Host-Pathogen Interactions / genetics
  • Interferons / pharmacology
  • Intestinal Mucosa / metabolism
  • Intestines / microbiology
  • Lactobacillus / classification
  • Lactobacillus / physiology*
  • Lactobacillus casei / physiology
  • Listeria monocytogenes / genetics*
  • Listeria monocytogenes / physiology
  • Listeriosis / genetics*
  • Listeriosis / microbiology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • MicroRNAs / genetics
  • Mouth / microbiology
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Transcriptome / genetics


  • MIRN215 microRNA, mouse
  • MicroRNAs
  • Mirn192 microRNA, mouse
  • Mirn200 microRNA, mouse
  • Interferons