Microbiology & Immunology Publications


Probiotic lactobacillus rhamnosus reduces organophosphate pesticide absorption and toxicity to Drosophila melanogaster

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Applied and Environmental Microbiology





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Organophosphate pesticides used in agriculture can pose health risks to humans and wildlife. We hypothesized that dietary supplementation with Lactobacillus, a genus of commensal bacteria, would reduce absorption and toxicity of consumed organophosphate pesticides (parathion and chlorpyrifos [CP]). Several Lactobacillus species were screened for toleration of 100 ppm of CP or parathion in MRS broth based on 24-h growth curves. Certain Lactobacillus strains were unable to reach stationary-phase culture maxima and displayed an abnormal culture morphology in response to pesticide. Further characterization of commonly used, pesticide-tolerant and pesticide-susceptible, probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus strain GG (LGG) and L. rhamnosus strain GR-1 (LGR-1), respectively, revealed that both strains could significantly sequester organophosphate pesticides from solution after 24-h coincubations. This effect was independent of metabolic activity, as L. rhamnosus GG did not hydrolyze CP and no difference in organophosphate sequestration was observed between live and heat-killed strains. Furthermore, LGR-1 and LGG reduced the absorption of 100 μM parathion or CP in a Caco-2 Transwell model of the small intestine epithelium. To determine the effect of sequestration on acute toxicity, newly eclosed Drosophila melanogaster flies were exposed to food containing 10 μM CP with or without supplementation with live LGG. Supplementation with LGG simultaneously, but not with administration of CP 3 days prior (prophylactically), mitigated CP-induced mortality. In summary, the results suggest that L. rhamnosus may be useful for reducing toxic organophosphate pesticide exposure via passive binding. These findings could be transferable to clinical and livestock applications due to affordability and practical ability to supplement products with food-grade bacteria.

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