Aim: To evaluate whether Utipro(®), a natural product approved to prevent urinary tract infections, protects intestinal epithelial cells from Escherichia coli adherence/intracellular invasion in vitro.
Materials & methods: Caco-2 and CacoGoblet(TM) cells were treated with Utipro (1.5 to 10 mg/ml) or untreated (controls). E. coli adherence/intracellular invasion was evaluated by Trans-Epithelial Electrical Resistance, Lucifer Yellow assay and microbial counts.
Results: Utipro was noncytotoxic. Utipro 5 and 10 mg/ml protected cell tight junctions (mean ± SD Trans-Epithelial Electrical Resistance [Ω × cm(2)] 66.83 ± 0.29 and 71.33 ± 0.29, respectively), and protected cells from E. coli intracellular invasion (mean ± SD reductions in total bacteria counts [Log10] 0.9 ± 0.06 and 2.1 ± 0.56, respectively).
Conclusion: Results indicate that Utipro creates a protective physical barrier on intestinal epithelial cells in vitro which reduces the settling of E. coli reservoirs. These results constitute the first step in the demonstration of the efficacy of Utipro to prevent urinary tract infections. Further research is needed in in vivo models and clinical trials.
Keywords: Utipro®; gelatin; intestinal epithelial cells; urinary tract infection; xyloglucan.