Antimicrobial peptides have been suggested as an alternative to classical antibiotics in livestock production and bacteriocin-producing bacteria could be added to animal feeds to deliver bacteriocins in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract of ruminant and monogastric animals. In this study, viable (V) and heat-killed (HK) Streptococcus bovis HC5 cells were orally administered to pre-sensitized mice in order to assess the effects of a bacteriocin-producing bacteria on histological parameters and the immune response of the GI tract of monogastric animals. The administration of V and HK S. bovis HC5 cells during 58 days to BALB/c mice did not affect weight gain, but an increase in gut permeability was detected in animals receiving the HK cells. Viable and heat killed cells caused similar morphological alterations in the GI tract of the animals, but the most prominent effects were detected in the small intestine. The oral administration of S. bovis HC5 also influenced cytokine production in the small intestine, and the immune-mediated activity differed between V and HK cells. The relative expression of IL-12 and INF-γ was significantly higher in the small intestine of mice treated with V cells, while an increase in IL-5, IL-13 and TNF-α expression was only detected in mice treated with HK cells. Considering that even under a condition of severe challenge (pre-sensitization followed by daily exposure to the same bacterial immunogen) the general health of the animals was maintained, it appears that oral administration of S. bovis HC5 cells could be a useful route to deliver bacteriocin in the GI tract of livestock animals. © 2012 Paiva et al.
Paiva, A. D., Fernandes, K. M., Dias, R. S., Rocha, A. S., de Oliveira, L. L., Neves, C. A., … Mantovani, H. C. (2012). Effects of the Oral Administration of Viable and Heat-Killed Streptococcus bovis HC5 Cells to Pre-Sensitized BALB/c Mice. PLoS ONE, 7(10). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0048313