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Interaction of bifidobacteria with the gut and their influence in the immune function

Gabriela Perdigón1,2, Mónica Locascio1, Marta Medici1, Aida Pesce de Ruiz Holagado1,2, Guillermo Oliver1

1. CERELA. Chacabuco 145, 4000 Tucumán, Argentina.
2. Instituto de Microbiología, Facultad de Bioquímica, Química y Farmacia. Universidad Nacional de Tucumán, Argentina.
Address correspondence to: Dra. Gabriela Perdigón. CERELA, Chacabuco 145, (4000) Tucumán, ARGENTINA. Te/Fax: (+54-381) 431 0465. E-mail:

BIOCELL 2003, 27(1), 1-9.


Bifidobacteria are predominant in the lumen of the large intestine and confer various health benefits on the host. They are also used in the preparation of new fermented milks (bioyogurts) or added to conventional yogurt to generate probiotic effects. The colonization of the gut by bacteria tends to be host specific due partly to the way in which bacteria adhere to the intestinal wall. Using a homologous strain of Bifidobacterium animalis in an experimental mouse model, we analyzed by immunofluorescence labelledbacteria and transmission electronic microscopy the importance of this bacterial interaction with epithelial an immune cells associated to the gut, and the effect of feeding of B. animalis in the immune response. It was able to adhere and interact with both small and large intestine. In spite of this interaction with the gut, no modifications in the immune state (secretory or systemic response) were observed.
A heterologous strain of Bifidobacterium adolescentis from human faeces, was neither uncapable of binding to the intestine, nor influence the immune system activation, when it was administered during 2, 5 or 7 consecutive days; we believe that using a homologous strain, oral tolerance is developed even when the microorganism interacts with the immune cells associated with the intestine. However, we cannot ignore the beneficial effect of these microorganisms, especially in the prevention of intestinal infections. We think that this property exerted by bifidobacteria is more related to other mechanisms such as competitive inhibition, acid production or others, than enhancement of the immune state.


Cite This Article

Perdigón, G., Locascio, M., Medici, M., Pesce, A., Oliver, G. (2003). Interaction of bifidobacteria with the gut and their influence in the immune function. BIOCELL, 27(1), 1–9.


cc This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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