The protective effect of feeding milk fermented with a mixture of Lactobacillus casei sp. and Lb. acidophilus sp. against Salmonella typhimurium infection in mice was compared with that obtained feeding milks fermented with these microorganisms individually. The survival rate obtained after oral infection with Sal. typhimurium was 100% in mice pretreated by feeding during 8 d with the mixture of Lb. casei and Lb. acidophilus fermented milks. Similar treatments with the individual milks were ineffective. Moreover, mice became more susceptible to infection with Sal. typhimurium after such treatment. The colonization of liver and spleen with the pathogen was markedly inhibited by the pretreatment with the mixture of fermented milk, while such inhibition was not observed using the Lb. casei and Lb. acidophilus milks. The highest levels of anti-salmonellae antibodies in serum and in intestinal fluid were found in the group of mice fed with the mixture and with Lb. casei fermented milk respectively. However, this latter milk was not effective in protecting against Sal. typhimurium. When the mice were first infected with Sal. typhimurium and then fed with the mixture of fermented milks, pathogen colonization was not prevented. The results suggest that the augmentation of resistance to salmonellae caused by the treatment with Lb. casei-+Lb. acidophilus-fermented milk was due to the anti-salmonellae protective immunity mainly mediated by the mucosal tissue. Milk fermented with this mixture could be used as an immunobiological method to prevent gastrointestinal infection.
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