Heat-killed Lactobacillus spp. cells enhance survivals of Caenorhabditis elegans against Salmonella and Yersinia infections

J. Lee, J. Choe, J. Kim, S. Oh, S. Park, Sae Hun Kim, Y. Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


This study examined the effect of feeding heat-killed Lactobacillus cells on the survival of Caenorhabditis elegans nematodes after Salmonella Typhimurium and Yersinia enterocolitica infection. The feeding of heat-killed Lactobacillus plantarum 133 (LP133) and Lactobacillus fermentum 21 (LP21) cells to nematodes was shown to significantly increase the survival rate as well as stimulate the expression of pmk-1 gene that key factor for C. elegans immunity upon infection compared with control nematodes that were only fed Escherichia coli OP50 (OP50) cells. These results suggest that heat-killed LP133 and LF21 cells exert preventive or protective effects against the Gram-negative bacteria Salm. Typhimurium and Y. enterocolitica. To better understand the mechanisms underlying the LF21-mediated and LP133-mediated protection against bacterial infection in nematodes, transcriptional profiling was performed for each experimental group. These experiments showed that genes related to energy generation and ageing, regulators of insulin/IGF-1-like signalling, DAF genes, oxidation and reduction processes, the defence response and/or the innate immune response, and neurological processes were upregulated in nematodes that had been fed heat-killed Lactobacillus cells compared with nematodes that had been fed E. coli cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)523-530
Number of pages8
JournalLetters in Applied Microbiology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Dec 1


  • Caenorhabditis elegans
  • Heat-killed cells
  • Host immunity
  • Lactobacillus spp.
  • Transcriptome analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

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