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Keywords:

  • anti-infectious activity;
  • Bifidobacterium breve;
  • methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus;
  • synbiotics

ABSTRACT

The anti-infectious activity of synbiotics against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection was evaluated using a novel lethal mouse model. Groups of 12 mice treated with multiple antibiotics were infected orally with a clinical isolate of MRSA at an inoculum of 108 CFU on day 7 after starting the antibiotics. A dose of 400 mg/kg 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) was injected intraperitoneally on day 7 after the infection. A dose of 108 CFU Bifidobacterium breve strain Yakult and 10 mg of galactooligosaccharides (GOS) were given orally to mice daily with the antibiotic treatment until day 28. The intestinal population levels of MRSA in the mice on multiple antibiotics were maintained stably at 108 CFU/g of intestinal contents after oral MRSA infection and the subsequent 5-FU treatment killed all the mice in the group within 14 days. B. breve administration saved most of the mice, but the synbiotic treatment saved all of the mice from lethal MRSA infection. The synbiotic treatment was effective for the treatment of intestinal infection caused by four MRSA strains with different toxin productions. There was a large difference among the six Bifidobacteria strains that were naturally resistant to the antibacterial drugs used. B. breve in combination with GOS is demonstrated to have valuable preventive and curative effects against even fatal MRSA infections.