Evaluation of a Potential Synbiotic Against a Cronobacter sakazakii Cocktail in a Simulator of the Human Intestinal Microbial Ecosystem (SHIME®) Using Infant Fecal Matter

Ke, Alfred
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University of Guelph

Powdered infant formula (PIF) can be contaminated with Cronobacter sakazakii, which can cause severe illnesses in infants. Synbiotics could act as an alternative control measure for C. sakazakii contamination in PIF and within the infant gut, but synbiotics have not been well studied for their ability to inhibit C. sakazakii. This thesis demonstrated that a potential synbiotic, consisting of 6 LAB strains and Vivinal GOS, can inhibit the growth of C. sakazakii in an infant SHIME, possibly through the production of antimicrobial metabolites like acetate, increasing species diversity within the system to compete for nutrients, or a combination of mechanisms. Our results also revealed that the relative abundance of Bifidobacterium was negatively correlated with Cronobacter in the control SHIME (ρ = -0.96; p < 0.05). This study suggests that C. sakazakii could be inhibited by the native gut microbiota, but inhibition can be accelerated by a potential synbiotic treatment.

Synbiotic, Cronobacter sakazakii, Simulator of the Human Intestinal Microbial Ecosystem (SHIME), Metabolomics, Gut microbiota, Infant