Co-culture with potentially probiotic microorganisms antagonises virulence factors of Clostridium difficile in vitro.

Antonie van Leeuwenhoek

PubMedID: 20232250

Trejo FM, Pérez PF, De Antoni GL. Co-culture with potentially probiotic microorganisms antagonises virulence factors of Clostridium difficile in vitro. Antonie Van Leeuwenhoek. 2010;98(1):19-29.
Toxigenic strains of Clostridium difficile were co-cultured with different strains of bifidobacteria and lactobacilli. Spent culture supernatants were tested for biological activity on cultured Vero cells. Co-culture of C. difficile with some potentially probiotic strains lead to a reduction of the biological activity of spent culture supernatants. The observed effects cannot be ascribed either to secreted factors from the probiotic strains or to toxin adsorption by bacterial cells. Immunological assays showed that there was significant diminution of both clostridial toxins (TcdA and TcdB) in spent culture supernatants of co-cultures as compared with pure clostridial cultures. Even though co-cultured clostridial cells showed a slight increase of intracellular toxins, this increase did not completely explains the reduction of toxin concentration in culture supernatants. The evidence suggests that the antagonism could be due to the diminution of the synthesis and/or secretion of both clostridial toxins. Our findings provide new insights into the possible mechanisms involved in the protective effect of probiotics in the context of C. difficile infection.