Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) occurs commonly, is difficult to treat, and frequently recurs. Bovine colostrum (BC) and chicken eggs contain immunoglobulins and other components that possess antimicrobial, immunoregulatory, and growth factor activities; however, it is not known if they have the ability to reduce injury caused by the presence of bacteria associated with SIBO (Streptococcus, Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus, Bacteroides, Klebsiella, Enterococcus, and Proteus) and infectious diarrhea (enteropathogenic Escherichia coli, Salmonella). We examined the effects of BC, egg, or the combination, on bacterial growth and bacteria-induced changes in transepithelial electrical resistance (TEER) and bacterial translocation across confluent Caco-2 monolayers. BC, egg, or the combination did not affect bacterial growth. Adding bacteria to monolayers reduced TEER and (with minor variations among species) increased bacterial translocation, increased monolayer apoptosis (increased caspase-3 and Baxα, reduced Bcl2), increased intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (ICAM-1), and reduced cell adhesion molecules zonulin1 (ZO1) and claudin-1. BC, egg, or the combination reduced these effects (all p < 0.01) and caused additional increases in vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and Heat Shock Protein 70 (Hsp70) expression. We conclude that BC ± egg strengthens mucosal integrity against a battery of bacteria relevant for SIBO and for infectious diarrhea. Oral BC ± egg may have clinical value for these conditions, especially SIBO where eradication of precipitating organisms may be difficult to achieve.
Keywords: antimicrobial; irritable bowel syndrome; leaky gut; nutraceuticals; repair; small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO).