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In vitro inhibition of ETEC K88 adhesion by pea hulls and of LT enterotoxin binding by faba bean hulls


Dr. Petra M. Becker, Wageningen UR Livestock Research, P.O. Box 65, 8200 AB Lelystad, The Netherlands. Tel: +31 320 293516; Fax: +31 320 237320; E-mail:


Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) expressing K88 (F4) adhesins are associated with post-weaning diarrhoea in piglets. Different grain fractions from pea (Pisum sativum) and faba bean (Vicia faba) were tested in vitro for their capacity to counteract aetiological factors, which contribute to the development of diarrhoea. In detail, adhesion of E. coli O149:K91:K88ac (ETEC K88ac) to grain legume products, intended to impair the colonization of the host, was studied as well as interference with receptor binding of the pathogen’s heat-labile enterotoxin LT, intended to reduce toxin-inflicted gut cell damage. When comparing different pea and faba bean products tested for their binding capacity of ETEC K88ac, especially pea hulls, but also whole pea meal, starch-enriched and protein-enriched pea meal, and digestion-resistant pea hull and meal fractions showed a higher binding of ETEC K88ac than faba bean products. In contrast to the ETEC K88ac adhesion results, bean hulls proved more effective than pea hulls in preventing GM1 receptor binding of LT. Previous small intestinal segment perfusion experiments we performed with ETEC K88ac-challenged piglets indicated that both pea and bean hulls have the potential for successful application in diarrhoea prophylaxis and treatment, which is in agreement with and refined by our detection of their different modes of functioning.