In vitro assessment of the ability of probiotics, blueberry and food carbohydrates to prevent S. pyogenes adhesion on pharyngeal epithelium and modulate immune responses
Group A streptococci (GAS) cause 20–30% of pediatric pharyngitis episodes, which are a major cause of ambulatory care visits. Therefore, a strategy to prevent GAS dissemination in children could significantly benefit public healthcare. Contextually, we assessed the possibility of employing alternative food-grade strategies to be used with the oral probiotic L. helveticus MIMLh5 for the prevention of pharyngeal infections. First, we demonstrated through an antagonism-by-exclusion assay that guaran may potentially prevent S. pyogenes adhesion on pharyngeal cells. Subsequently, we showed that an anthocyanin-rich fraction extracted from wild blueberry (BbE) exerts anti-inflammatory effects on the human macrophage cell line U937. Finally, we showed that BbE reduces interferon-β expression in MIMLh5-stimulated murine dendritic cells, resulting in a reduction in the pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-12 and TNF-α. In conclusion, this proof-of-concept study indicates that different food-grade strategies may be concomitantly adopted to potentially prevent GAS colonization and modulate local immune defences.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Berry Health Benefits Symposium