Shiga toxin (Stx)-producing, food-contaminating Escherichia coli (STEC) is a major health concern. Plant-derived pectin and pectic-oligosaccharides (POS) have been considered as prebiotics and for the protection of humans from Stx. Of five structurally different citrus pectic samples, POS1, POS2 and modified citrus pectin 1 (MCP1) were bifidogenic with similar fermentabilities in human faecal cultures and arabinose-rich POS2 had the greatest prebiotic potential. Pectic oligosaccharides also enhanced lactobacilli growth during mixed batch faecal fermentation. We demonstrated that all pectic substrates were anti-adhesive for E. coli O157:H7 binding to human HT29 cells. Lower molecular weight and deesterification enhanced the anti-adhesive activity. We showed that all pectic samples reduced Stx2 cytotoxicity in HT29 cells, as measured by the reduction of human rRNA depurination detected by our novel TaqMan-based RT-qPCR assay, with POS1 performing the best. POS1 competes with Stx2 binding to the Gb3 receptor based on ELISA results, underlining the POS anti-STEC properties.
Keywords: Anti-adhesion; HT29 cells; Orange pectic oligosaccharides; STEC; Shiga toxin 2; TaqMan RT-qPCR; rRNA depurination.
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