Lactoferrin Protects Against E. Coli

Byron's Comments:

A key component of colostrum, lactoferrin is an active germ killer.

Study Title:

Lactoferrin: an iron-binding antimicrobial protein against Escherichia coli infection.

Study Abstract:

Escherichia coli (E. coli) are the most common aerobic gram-negative bacilli in a normal intestinal tract. They cause most of the intra-abdominal infections, wound infections associated with abdominal surgery, and septicemia. Most of these infections are of endogenous intestinal origin. Lactoferrin (LF) is an iron-binding glycoprotein found in milk and various external secretions. This protein has been found to have a number of biological functions, including antimicrobial, anti-cancer, antioxidant, and immunomodulatory effects. Partial degradation of LF by pepsin can give rise to peptides termed lactoferricin (LFcin) with more potent antimicrobial activity. LF and LFcin have been shown to inhibit the growth of a number of pathogenic bacteria (including E. coli and antibiotic-resistant strains), fungi, and even viruses in both in vitro and in vivo studies. We previously demonstrated that both recombinant porcine LF (pLF) produced from yeast and a synthetic 20-residue porcine LFcin peptide exhibit antimicrobial activity in vitro. In one of our recent studies, we performed pathogen challenges, including pathogenic E. coli, Staphylococcus aureus and Candida albicans, of the digestive tract of a transgenic milk-fed animal model. The results showed that LF has broad spectrum antimicrobial activity in the digestive tract and protects the mucosa of the small intestine from injury. Our following study also revealed that pLF as a feedstuff additive enhances avian immunity, including antibody formation and cell-mediated immunity. All of these results suggest that LF could be a novel natural protein in the treatment and prevention of infections with E. coli or antibiotic-resistant bacteria strains.

Study Information:

Yen CC, Shen CJ, Hsu WH, Chang YH, Lin HT, Chen HL, Chen CM. Lactoferrin: an iron-binding antimicrobial protein against Escherichia coli infection. Biometals. 2011 February 
Department of Life Sciences, National Chung Hsing University, No. 250, Kuo Kuang Rd, Taichung, 402, Taiwan.




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