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Interference of Lactobacillus plantarum Strains in the In Vitro Conjugative Transfer of R-Plasmids

Sabia, Carla, de Niederhäusern, Simona, Guerrieri, Elisa, Bondi, Moreno, Anacarso, Immacolata, Iseppi, Ramona, Messi, Patrizia
Current microbiology 2009 v.58 no.2 pp. 101-105
Lactobacillus plantarum, Staphylococcus aureus, ecosystems, genes, intestinal microorganisms, mating frequency, plasmids, probiotics
Probiotic compounds, which are often constituted of lactobacilli, exert a number of health benefits through maintenance of the intestinal ecosystem balance. Among the important interactions that occur in the gut microbiota, plasmid transfer by mating is an increasing cause of concern, particularly when antibiotic-resistant genes are involved. Because lactobacilli seem to be able to influence this mechanism, the aim of the present work was to investigate the in vitro capability of two Lactobacillus plantarum strains (one bacteriocin producer and one nonproducer) to interfere with the conjugation processes. For this purpose different matings were performed adding to the donor and recipient cells L. plantarum 35d bac+ and L. plantarum 396/1 bac- as agents of interference. Conjugations added with a Staphylococcus aureus strain or without any agent of interference were used as controls. The results of our experiments demonstrated that both lactobacillus strains were able to decrease mating frequency. Statistically significant differences in the viable transconjugants were obtained in the presence and in the absence of the lactobacilli. The effect was almost the same with the two L. plantarum independent of bacteriocin production. In the trial performed with S. aureus, no decrease in mating frequency was observed, confirming that the capability to interfere with R-plasmid transfer ability could be a property of the tested L. plantarum strains.