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Use of a fiber-based strategy to prevent enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli infections: in vitro investigation on their antagonistic effects

Abstract : The main pathogenic agent of travelers’ diarrhea, Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC), is responsible for 45% of the 200 million worldwide cases of diarrhea. The main virulence traits of ETEC are the secretion of LT (eltB gene) and/or ST (estA gene) enterotoxins that disrupt fluid and electrolyte homeostasis leading to profuse watery diarrhea. ETEC also possess several adhesins, such as fimbrial or afimbrial surface structures that enable adherence to intestinal epithelium. Two ETEC mucinases involved in the degradation of intestinal mucus, facilitate close contact of bacteria with intestinal epithelial cells and toxins delivery. No specific therapy is available for such infections and treatments are mainly symptomatic with a frequent use of antibiotics. Given the burden of antimicrobial resistance, it is urgent to develop new alternative preventive strategies. Among promising solutions, dietary fibers, already known for their beneficial effects against enteric pathogens, have yet to be investigated in the context of ETEC infection. The aim of this work was to evaluate interactions between the reference strain ETEC H10407 and mucus, by using different soluble and insoluble fibers as nutritional strategy for prevention of ETEC infection. Using complementary in vitro approaches, a preliminary screening program was conducted on eight fiber-containing products to select the most promising candidates regarding their in vitro anti-infectious properties. Experiments with intestinal epithelial cells combining Caco-2 and HT-29MTX mucus-secreting cells have been performed to unravel the impact of selected fiber-related products on cellular-associated adhesion, induction of inflammation and modulation of virulence genes expression. Lentils and specific yeast cell walls were the two selected candidates following the screening program. We demonstrated that lentil fiber extract was able to decrease LT toxin production, while the specific yeast cell walls prevented ETEC adhesion to intestinal cells. Both extracts were able to decrease cellular inflammation and modulate a panel of genes related to ETEC virulence such as eltB and estP. This work sheds light on a new possible preventive strategy against ETEC enteric infections based on the use of fibers. Next, in vitro gut model inoculated with human feces will be used to further unravel the beneficial role of fiber-containing products in ETEC infection by integrating a major component of host homeostasis, namely gut microbiota.
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https://hal.inrae.fr/hal-03395516
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Submitted on : Friday, October 22, 2021 - 2:20:13 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, November 3, 2021 - 2:59:04 PM

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Thomas Sauvaitre, Charlene Roussel, Adeline Sivignon, Sandrine Chalancon, Claude Durif, et al.. Use of a fiber-based strategy to prevent enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli infections: in vitro investigation on their antagonistic effects. 12. International Symposium on Gut Microbiology, INRAE ; Rowett Institute UK, Oct 2021, En ligne, France. ⟨hal-03395516⟩

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