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Lysozyme improves gut performance and protects against enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli infection in neonatal piglets

Huang, Guangping, Li, Xiangqing, Lu, Dan, Liu, Shen, Suo, Xun, Li, Qiuyan, Li, Ning
Veterinary research 2018 v.49 no.1 pp. 20
Lactobacillus, antibiotic resistance, antimicrobial peptides, antimicrobial properties, diarrhea, digestive system, drug therapy, drugs, enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli, humans, immunoglobulin A, intestinal microorganisms, lysozyme, milk, morbidity, mortality, oral administration, pathogens, piglets, protective effect, transgenic animals, veterinary medicine
Diarrhea remains one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality globally, with enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) constituting a major causative pathogen. The development of alternative treatments for diarrhea that do not involve chemotherapeutic drugs or result in antibiotic resistance is critical. Considering that lysozyme is a naturally occurring antimicrobial peptide, in a previous study we developed a transgenic pig line that expresses recombinant human lysozyme (hLZ) in its milk. In the present study, we examined the protective effects of the consumption of this milk against ETEC infection in neonatal piglets. We found that consuming hLZ milk facilitated faster recovery from infection and decreased mortality and morbidity following an ETEC oral inoculation or infection acquired by contact-exposure. The protective effect of hLZ was associated with the enrichment of intestinal bacteria that improve gut health, such as Lactobacillus, and the enhancement of the mucosal IgA response to the ETEC-induced diarrhea. Our study revealed potential protective mechanisms underlying the antimicrobial activity of human lysozyme, validating the use of lysozyme as an effective preventive measure for diarrhea.