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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Effects of the probiotic Lactobacillus animalis in murine Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis infection

Enusha Karunasena1*, Paresh C Kurkure2, Russell D Lackey2, Kevin Wyatt McMahon1, Estevan P Kiernan2, Suzanne Graham5, Magdy S Alabady4, David L Campos3, Owatha L Tatum5 and Mindy M Brashears2

Author affiliations

1 Virginia Tech, MC 0477, Washington Street, Blacksburg, VA, 24061, USA

2 ESB Canton & Main St, MS3132, TTU, Lubbock, TX, 79409, USA

3 TTU/HHMI Undergraduate Research Program, Lubbock, TX, 79409, USA

4 U of Illinois Urbana-Champaign 1206, West Gregory Street, Urbana, IL, 61801, USA

5 TTUHSC, 36014th Street, Lubbock, TX, 79409, USA

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Citation and License

BMC Microbiology 2013, 13:8  doi:10.1186/1471-2180-13-8

Published: 16 January 2013

Abstract

Background

MAP is a suspected zoonotic pathogen and the causative agent of Johne’s Disease in cattle and other ruminant animals. With over $1 billion dollars in loss to the dairy industry due to Johne’s Disease, efforts to eliminate or reduce MAP from cattle are of importance. The purpose of this study was to determine if daily intake of probiotics could eliminate or reduce Johne’s Disease associated symptoms and pathogenesis by MAP. Post infection, animals are often asymptomatic carriers with limited shedding of the pathogen, proving early detection to be difficult. Disease and symptoms often appear 3–4 years after infection with antibiotic treatment proving ineffective. Symptoms include chronic gastrointestinal inflammation leading to severe weight-loss from poor feed and water intake cause a wasting disease. These symptoms are similar to those found in individuals with Crohn’s Disease (CD); MAP has been implicated by not proven to be the causative agent of CD. Probiotics administered to livestock animals, including dairy and beef cattle have demonstrated improvements in cattle performance and health. Our objectives included determining the benefits of Lactobacillus animalis (strain name: NP-51) in MAP infected BALB/c mice by evaluating systemic and gastrointestinal response by the host and gut microbiota. Male and female animals were fed 1×106 CFU/g probiotics in sterile, powdered mouse chow daily and infected with 1 × 107 CFU/ml MAP and compared to controls. Animals were evaluated for 180 days to assess acute and chronic stages of disease, with sample collection from animals every 45 days. MAP concentrations from liver and intestinal tissues were examined using real time-PCR methods and the expression of key inflammatory markers were measured during MAP infection (interferon-gamma [IFN-Υ], Interleukin-1α, IL-12, IL-10, IL-6, and Tumor necrosis factor alpha [TNF-α]).

Results

Our results demonstrate administration of probiotics reduces production of IFN-Υ and IL-6 while increasing TNF-α and IL-17 in chronic disease; healthful immune responses that reduce chronic inflammation associated to MAP infection.

Conclusions

We observed that the immune system’s response in the presence of probiotics to MAP contributes towards host health by influencing the activity of the immune system and gut microbial populations.

Keywords:
Probiotics; Mycobacterium paratuberculosis; Direct-fed microbials; Johne’s disease; Microbiota; Lactobacillus; Crohn’s disease; BALB/c