The use of lactobacilli in prevention of necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) is hampered by insufficient knowledge about optimal species/strains and effects on intestinal bacterial populations. We therefore sought to identify lactobacilli naturally occurring in postnatal rats and examine their ability to colonize the neonatal intestine and protect from NEC. L. murinus, L. acidophilus, and L. johnsonii were found in 42, 20, and 1 out of 51 4-day old rats, respectively. Higher proportion of L. murinus in microbiota correlated with lower NEC scores. Inoculation with each of the three species during first feeding significantly augmented intestinal populations of lactobacilli four days later, indicating successful colonization. L. murinus, but not L. acidophilus or L. johnsonii, significantly protected against NEC. Thus, lactobacilli protect rats from NEC in a species- or strain-specific manner. Our results may help rationalizing probiotic therapy in NEC.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)