Enhanced Probiotic Potential of Lactobacillus reuteri When Delivered as a Biofilm on Dextranomer Microspheres That Contain Beneficial Cargo

As with all orally consumed probiotics, the Gram-positive bacterium Lactobacillus reuteri encounters numerous challenges as it transits through the gastrointestinal tract of the host, including low pH, effectors of the host immune system, as well as competition with commensal and pathogenic bacteria, all of which can greatly reduce the availability of live bacteria for therapeutic purposes. Recently we showed that L. reuteri, when adhered in the form of a biofilm to a semi-permeable biocompatible dextranomer microsphere, reduces the incidence of necrotizing enterocolitis by 50% in a well-defined animal model following delivery of a single prophylactic dose.

Herein, using the same semi-permeable microspheres, we showed that providing compounds beneficial to L. reuteri as diffusible cargo within the microsphere lumen resulted in further advantageous effects including glucosyltransferase-dependent bacterial adherence to the microsphere surface, resistance of bound bacteria against acidic conditions, enhanced adherence of L. reuteri to human intestinal epithelial cells in vitro, and facilitated production of the antimicrobial compound reuterin and the anti-inflammatory molecule histamine. These data support the continued development of this novel probiotic formulation as an adaptable and effective means for targeted delivery of cargo beneficial to the probiotic bacterium.


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Navarro et al 2017 “Enhanced probiotic potential of Lactobacillus reuteri when delivered as a
biofilm on dextranomer microspheres that contain beneficial cargo”, Frot. Microbiol., 27