In vitro and in vivo antagonistic activity of new probiotic culture against Clostridium difficile and Clostridium perfringens

BMC Microbiol. 2017 May 6;17(1):108. doi: 10.1186/s12866-017-1015-5.


Background: Genus Clostridium accompanies more than 200 known species and at least 30 among them are associated with human and animal diseases. At the moment, the treatment of clostridial infections is based on use of antibiotics. However, due to the European ban on the use of antibiotics in livestock production, novel therapeutic strategies for treatment of these hardly curable infections have been evaluated. Hence, in this study the antimicrobial effect of newly designed probiotic culture consisted of natural isolates Lactobacillus helveticus BGRA43, Lactobacillus fermentum BGHI14 and Streptococcus thermophilus BGVLJ1-44 against Clostridium difficile and Clostridium perfringens was analyzed.

Results: The probiotic culture showed strong in vitro antimicrobial effect on C. difficile (human clinical isolate). In addition, individual strains and the probiotic combination exhibited immunomodulatory activity. The probiotic combination significantly increased the proliferation of GALT lymphocytes. At the other hand, none of the bacterial treatments (individual strains and the combination) induced the production of proinflammatory cytokines IL-6 and IL-1β by intestinal epithelial cells, Caco-2. Interestingly, Caco-2 cells exposed to the probiotic combination produced significantly elevated amount of TGFβ pointing to potential protecting effect of the probiotic. In addition, the results of field trial on spontaneously infected goats revealed reduction of C. perfringens in goats (below the detection threshold) after the probiotic treatment.

Conclusions: The results of this study indicated that the novel probiotic deserves to be further investigated as a promising antimicrobial agent against C. difficile and C. perfringens.

Keywords: Clostridium sp.; GALT; Goats; Probiotic; TGF-β.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibiosis*
  • Caco-2 Cells
  • Cell Culture Techniques
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Clostridioides difficile / drug effects
  • Clostridioides difficile / growth & development*
  • Clostridium Infections / drug therapy
  • Clostridium Infections / microbiology
  • Clostridium Infections / veterinary
  • Clostridium perfringens / drug effects
  • Clostridium perfringens / growth & development*
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Epithelial Cells / immunology
  • Female
  • Goats
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-1beta / metabolism
  • Interleukin-6 / metabolism
  • Intestines / drug effects
  • Intestines / immunology
  • Lactobacillus fermentum / physiology
  • Lactobacillus helveticus / physiology
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Peptide Fragments / metabolism
  • Probiotics / therapeutic use*
  • Streptococcus thermophilus / physiology


  • Cytokines
  • Interleukin-1beta
  • Interleukin-6
  • Peptide Fragments
  • interleukin-1beta (163-171)