Detection of a Lactobacillus substance that inhibits Escherichia coli

Can J Microbiol. 1988 Aug;34(8):974-8. doi: 10.1139/m88-171.


Recent studies have shown that certain lactobacilli strains have the ability to interfere with the adherence and growth of uropathogenic bacteria. This interaction is believed to be important in the maintenance of a normal urogenital flora and in the prevention of infection in females. In the present study, Lactobacillus casei ssp. rhamnosus GR-1 and Lactobacillus acidophilus 76 were found to exert an inhibitory effect on pyelonephritogenic mutant Escherichia coli Hu 734 and E. coli ATCC 25922. The bioactivity of the inhibitor produced by strain GR-1 was retained under pH buffered conditions and was bactericidal. The bioactive substance was heat labile, not precipitated by up to 80% ammonium sulphate, and extractable in chloroform. The data indicated that the inhibitor is not lactic acid or hydrogen peroxide and has a molecular weight greater than 12,000-14,000. Human urine supported production of the inhibitor and reduced and delayed outgrowth of the E. coli. The ability of L. casei GR-1 and possibly other lactobacilli strains to produce inhibitors of uropathogenic bacteria may have clinical importance and significance in the microbial ecology of the urogenital tract.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antibiosis
  • Bacterial Adhesion
  • Culture Media
  • Escherichia coli / growth & development*
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Lacticaseibacillus casei / growth & development
  • Lacticaseibacillus casei / metabolism
  • Lactobacillus / growth & development
  • Lactobacillus / metabolism*
  • Lactobacillus acidophilus / growth & development
  • Lactobacillus acidophilus / metabolism
  • Urine / microbiology


  • Culture Media