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1.  Induction of a Humoral Immune Response following an Escherichia coli O157:H7 Infection with an Immunomodulatory Peptidic Fraction Derived from Lactobacillus helveticus-Fermented Milk 
Numerous beneficial effects have been attributed to probiotic lactic acid bacteria (LAB), such as the stimulation of the immune system, the prevention of enteric infections by enteropathogens, and the regression of immunodependent tumors. It has been shown that biologically active metabolites released during fermentation, in particular biopeptides, could act as immunomodulatory agents. However, no studies have been conducted to evaluate the implication of these bioactive peptides in the induction of a protective immune response against enteric infections. The present study aimed to evaluate the possible immunomodulatory and anti-infectious effects of a peptidic fraction released in milk fermented by Lactobacillus helveticus. The immune response in the mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue was monitored following an administration of the potentially bioactive peptidic fraction. The total immunoglobulin A (IgA) immune response was evaluated after an Escherichia coli O157:H7 infection in a BALB/c murine model. Immunohistochemical and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays revealed an increase in the number of IgA-secreting B lymphocytes in the intestinal lamina propria and an enhanced total secretory and systemic IgA response. Cytokine profiling also revealed stimulation of a Th2 response in mice fed the peptidic fraction, whereas infected controls demonstrated a proinflammatory Th1 response. These results indicate that bioactive peptides released during fermentation by LAB could contribute to the known immunomodulatory effects of probiotic bacteria.
PMCID: PMC524790  PMID: 15539524
2.  Use of a Novel Enzyme Immunoassay Based on Detection of Circulating Antigen in Serum for Diagnosis of Helicobacter pylori Infection 
Recently, noninvasive diagnostic tests for Helicobacter pylori infection have gained in significance. We have developed a sensitive and specific noninvasive immunoassay based on the detection of an H. pylori circulating antigen (HpCA) in sera from H. pylori-infected individuals. Monospecific antibody and Western blot analyses were used to demonstrate the presence of the target antigen in H. pylori cell lysate and serum samples. A novel enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was developed for the detection of HpCA in serum. Endoscopic biopsy specimens from the gastric antra of 221 individuals (143 males and 78 females) with dyspeptic symptoms were evaluated for H. pylori infection, with culture used as a “gold standard” for diagnosis. The target H. pylori antigen was identified at 58 kDa. HpCA has been detected by ELISA with high degrees of sensitivity, specificity, and efficiency (>90%), and ELISA results show no significant difference (P > 0.05) from results of H. pylori culture of gastric biopsy specimens. The test's positive and negative predictive values were also high (95 and 86%, respectively). In conclusion, a sensitive and specific immunoassay was developed for the detection of HpCA in human serum. This test can be applied for noninvasive laboratory and field diagnoses of H. pylori infection.
PMCID: PMC440618  PMID: 15242956
3.  Stimulation of Interleukin-10 Production by Acidic β-Lactoglobulin-Derived Peptides Hydrolyzed with Lactobacillus paracasei NCC2461 Peptidases 
We have previously demonstrated that Lactobacillus paracasei NCC2461 may help to prevent cow's milk allergy in mice by inducing oral tolerance to β-lactoglobulin (BLG). To investigate the mechanisms involved in this beneficial effect, we examined the possibility that L. paracasei induces tolerance by hydrolyzing BLG-derived peptides and liberating peptides that stimulate interleukin-10 (IL-10) production. L. paracasei peptidases have been shown to hydrolyze tryptic-chymotryptic peptides from BLG, releasing numerous small peptides with immunomodulating properties. We have now shown that acidic tryptic-chymotryptic peptides stimulate splenocyte proliferation and gamma interferon (IFN-γ) production in vitro. Hydrolysis of these peptides with L. paracasei peptidases repressed the lymphocyte stimulation, up-regulated IL-10 production, and down-regulated IFN-γ and IL-4 secretion. L. paracasei NCC2461 may therefore induce oral tolerance to BLG in vivo by degrading acidic peptides and releasing immunomodulatory peptides stimulating regulatory T cells, which function as major immunosuppressive agents by secreting IL-10.
PMCID: PMC371205  PMID: 15013974
4.  Effect of Probiotic Bacteria on Induction and Maintenance of Oral Tolerance to β-Lactoglobulin in Gnotobiotic Mice 
In this study, the effect of Lactobacillus paracasei (NCC 2461), Lactobacillus johnsonii (NCC 533) and Bifidobacterium lactis Bb12 (NCC 362) on the induction and maintenance of oral tolerance to bovine β-lactoglobulin (BLG) was investigated in mice. Germfree mice were monocolonized with one of the three strains before oral administration of whey protein to induce tolerance. Mice were then injected with BLG and sacrificed 28 or 50 days after whey protein feeding for humoral and cellular response measurement. Conventional and germfree mice were used as controls. Both humoral and cellular responses were better suppressed in conventional mice than in germfree and monoassociated mice throughout the experiment and better suppressed in L. paracasei-associated mice than in mice colonized with B. lactis or L. johnsonii. The latter two mono-associations suppressed humoral responses only partially and cellular responses not at all. This study provides evidence that probiotics modulate the oral tolerance response to BLG in mice. The mono-colonization effect is strain-dependant, the best result having been obtained with L. paracasei.
PMCID: PMC193892  PMID: 12965905
5.  Evaluation of antibodies reactive with Campylobacter jejuni in Egyptian diarrhea patients. 
Serum and stool samples were collected from 128 individuals: 96 diarrhea patients and 32 apparently healthy controls. Stool specimens were cultured for enteric bacterial pathogens, while sera were screened by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for Campylobacter jejuni-reactive antibodies. Of 28 diarrhea patients who demonstrated C. jejuni-reactive antibodies (titers, > 100), 14 were culture positive for this organism. The 32 healthy controls showed significantly lower antibody titers (P < 0.05) with the exception of 10 subjects who were culture positive for C. jejuni and had reactive immunoglobulin M (IgM) (6 subjects) and IgG (7 subjects). IgA was not detected in those 10 individuals (asymptomatic). Avidity was expressed as the thiocyanate ion concentration required to inhibit 50% of the bound antibodies. The avidity was higher in symptomatic patients than asymptomatic healthy controls. IgG was less avid (0.92 M) compared to IgM (0.1 M) and IgA (1.1 M), with no correlation between antibody titer and avidity. However, the thiocyanate ion concentration required for the complete inhibition of IgG (5 M)-bound antibodies was higher than that of IgA (2 M) and IgM (3 M). This study also shows that C. jejuni antibodies were variably cross-reactive with Escherichia coli, Shigella flexneri, Shigella sonnei, and Neisseria meningitidis in addition to Campylobacter coli and Campylobacter rectus.
PMCID: PMC170589  PMID: 9302201

Results 1-5 (5)