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Recent Publication

Inhibition of Toxic Shock Syndrome-Associated Staphylococcus aureus by Probiotic Lactobacilli


Staphylococcus aureus is a human pathogen with many infections originating on mucosal surfaces. One common group of S. aureus is the USA200 (CC30) clonal group, which produces toxic shock syndrome toxin-1 (TSST-1). Many USA200 infections occur on mucosal surfaces, particularly in the vagina and gastrointestinal tract. This allows these organisms to cause cases of menstrual TSS and enterocolitis. The current study examined the ability of two lactobacilli, Lactobacillus acidophilus strain LA-14 and Lacticaseibacillus rhamnosus strain HN001, for their ability to inhibit the growth of TSST-1 positive S. aureus, the production of TSST-1, and the ability of TSST-1 to induce pro-inflammatory chemokines from human vaginal epithelial cells (HVECs). In competition growth experiments, L. rhamnosus did not affect the growth of TSS S. aureus but did inhibit the production of TSST-1; this effect was partially due to acidification of the growth medium. L. acidophilus was both bactericidal and prevented the production of TSST-1 by S. aureus. This effect appeared to be partially due to acidification of the growth medium, production of H2O2, and production of other antibacterial molecules. When both organisms were incubated with S. aureus, the effect of L. acidophilus LA-14 dominated. In in vitro experiments with HVECs, neither lactobacillus induced significant production of the chemokine interleukin-8, whereas TSST-1 did induce production of the chemokine. When the lactobacilli were incubated with HVECs in the presence of TSST-1, the lactobacilli reduced chemokine production. These data suggest that these two bacteria in probiotics could reduce the incidence of menstrual and enterocolitis-associated TSS. I

  • Patrick M. Schlievert, Adriana V. Gaitán, Samuel H. Kilgore, Amy L. Roe, Johanna Maukonen, Liisa Lehtoranta, Donald Y. M. Leung, Daniel S. Marsman