Lactobacillus reuteri derived from horse alleviates Escherichia coli-induced diarrhea by modulating gut microbiota

Microb Pathog. 2024 Mar:188:106541. doi: 10.1016/j.micpath.2024.106541. Epub 2024 Jan 13.


Diarrhea is a prevalent health issue in farm animals and poses a significant challenge to the progress of animal husbandry. Recent evidence suggested that probiotics can alleviate diarrhea by maintaining gut microbial balance and enhancing the integrity of the intestinal barrier. However, there is a scarcity of studies investigating the efficacy of equine Lactobacillus reuteri in relieving E. coli-induced diarrhea. Hence, this study aimed to examine the potential of equine-derived Lactobacillus reuteri in alleviating E. coli diarrhea from the perspective of gut microbiota. Results demonstrated that supplementation of Lactobacillus reuteri had the potential to alleviate diarrhea induced by E. coli infection and restore the decline of tight junction genes, such as Claudin-1 and ZO-1. Additionally, Lactobacillus reuteri supplementation can restore the expression of inflammatory factors (IL-6, IL-10, TNF-α, and IFN-γ) and reduce colon inflammatory damage. Diversity analysis, based on amplicon sequencing, revealed a significant reduction in the diversity of gut microbiota during E. coli-induced diarrhea. Moreover, there were notable statistical differences in the composition and structure of gut microbiota among the different treatment groups. E. coli could induce gut microbial dysbiosis by decreasing the abundance of beneficial bacteria, including Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, Ligilactobacillus, Enterorhabdus, and Lachnospiraceae_UCG_001, in comparison to the control group. Conversely, supplementation with Lactobacillus reuteri could restore the abundance of beneficial bacteria and increase the diversity of the gut microbiota, thereby reshaping gut microbiota. Additionally, we also observed that supplementation with Lactobacillus reuteri alone improved the gut microbial composition and structure. In summary, the findings suggest that Lactobacillus reuteri can alleviate E. coli-induced diarrhea by preserving the integrity of the intestinal barrier and modulating the composition of the gut microbiota. These results not only contribute to understanding of the mechanism underlying the beneficial effects of Lactobacillus reuteri in relieving diarrhea, but also provide valuable insights for the development of probiotic products aimed at alleviating diarrheal diseases.

Keywords: Diarrhea; Escherichia coli; Gut microbiota; Lactobacillus reuteri; Tight junction.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Diarrhea / therapy
  • Escherichia coli
  • Escherichia coli Infections* / therapy
  • Escherichia coli Infections* / veterinary
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome*
  • Horses
  • Lactobacillus
  • Limosilactobacillus reuteri*
  • Probiotics* / pharmacology
  • Probiotics* / therapeutic use