Lactic acid bacteria protect human intestinal epithelial cells from Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections

Genet Mol Res. 2015 Dec 16;14(4):17044-58. doi: 10.4238/2015.December.16.5.


Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa are opportunistic pathogens that cause nosocomial and food-borne infections. They promote intestinal diseases. Gastrointestinal colonization by S. aureus and P. aeruginosa has rarely been researched. These organisms spread to extra gastrointestinal niches, resulting in increasingly progressive infections. Lactic acid bacteria are Gram-positive bacteria that produce lactic acid as the major end-product of carbohydrate fermentation. These bacteria inhibit pathogen colonization and modulate the host immune response. This study aimed to investigate the effects of Lactobacillus acidophilus and Lactobacillus rhamnosus on enteric infections caused by the paradigmatic human pathogens S. aureus ATCC25923 and P. aeruginosa ATCC27853. The effect of whole cells and neutralized cell-free supernatant (CFS) of the lactobacilli on LoVo human carcinoma enterocyte (ATCC CCL-229) infection was analyzed by co-exposure, pre-exposure, and post-exposure studies. Simultaneous application of whole cells and CFS of the lactobacilli significantly eradicated enterocyte infection (P < 0.05); however, this effect was not seen when the whole cells and CFS were added after or prior to the infection (P > 0.05). This result could be attributed to interference by extracellular polymeric substances and cell surface hydrophobicity, which resulted in the development of a pathogen that did not form colonies. Furthermore, results of the plate count and LIVE/ DEAD BacLight bacterial viability staining attributed this inhibition to a non-bacteriocin-like substance, which acted independently of organic acid and H2O2 production. Based on these results, the cell-free supernatant derived from lactobacilli was concluded to restrain the development of S. aureus and P. aeruginosa enteric infections.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antibiosis*
  • Bacterial Adhesion
  • Cell Line
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Culture Media, Conditioned / pharmacology
  • Drug Resistance, Bacterial
  • Epithelial Cells / metabolism
  • Epithelial Cells / microbiology
  • Gene Expression
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Mucosa / metabolism
  • Intestinal Mucosa / microbiology*
  • Lactobacillus / physiology*
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Microbial Viability / drug effects
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa / drug effects
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa / physiology*
  • Staphylococcus aureus / drug effects
  • Staphylococcus aureus / physiology*
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / genetics
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / metabolism


  • Culture Media, Conditioned
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha