Fermented soya bean (tempe) extracts reduce adhesion of enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli to intestinal epithelial cells

P.J. Roubos-van den Hil, M.J.R. Nout, R.R. Beumer, J. van der Meulen, M.H. Zwietering

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Aims: This study aimed to investigate the effect of processed soya bean, during the successive stages of tempe fermentation and different fermentation times, on adhesion of enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) K88 to intestinal brush border cells as well as Caco-2 intestinal epithelial cells; and to clarify the mechanism of action. Methods and Results: Tempe was prepared at controlled laboratory scale using Rhizopus microsporus var. microsporus as the inoculum. Extracts of raw, soaked and cooked soya beans reduced ETEC adhesion to brush border cells by 40%. Tempe extracts reduced adhesion by 80% or more. ETEC adhesion to Caco-2 cells reduced by 50% in the presence of tempe extracts. ETEC K88 bacteria were found to interact with soya bean extracts, and this may contribute to the observed decrease of ETEC adhesion to intestinal epithelial cells. Conclusions: Fermented soya beans (tempe) reduce the adhesion of ETEC to intestinal epithelial cells of pig and human origin. This reduced adhesion is caused by an interaction between ETEC K88 bacteria and soya bean compounds. Significance and Impact of the Study: The results strengthen previous observations on the anti-diarrhoeal effect of tempe. This effect indicates that soya-derived compounds may reduce adhesion of ETEC to intestinal cells in pigs as well as in humans and prevent against diarrhoeal diseases.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1013-1021
JournalJournal of Applied Microbiology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • rhizopus-oligosporus
  • disease prevention
  • bacterial adhesion
  • food
  • diarrhea
  • k88
  • enterocytes
  • inhibition
  • piglets
  • caco-2


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