Immunomodulatory effects of E.coli Nissle 1917 and β-glucans in early life

M. Geervliet, H.J.A. de Vries, N. Groothuis, Christine A. Jansen, Victor Rutten, H.F.J. Savelkoul, E.J. Tijhaar

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingAbstract


Background: Infectious diseases are problematic for the pig sector worldwide, with the weaning period being the most critical period in a pig’s life. A promising strategy to reduce the incidence of infectious diseases is immunomodulation by feed in early life. Therefore, the immunomodulatory effects of two feed additives, yeast-derived β-glucans and E.coli Nissle 1917 (EcN), were studied in vitro and in vivo. Materials and methods: In vitro cultured dendritic cells (DCs) were used to assess the immunomodulatory effects of both feed additives. Read-out parameters included upregulation of maturation markers and production of cytokines after co-cultivation with the feed additives. For the in vivo assessment, both feed additives were administered to neonatal piglets and immune parameters (e.g. DC maturation and ex-vivo re-stimulation responses) were assessed in blood- and tissue sam-ples collected at pre- and post-weaning time points. Results: Yeast-derived β-glucans and EcN induced differential DC responses in vitro, with respect to upregulation of DC maturation markers (e.g. CD80/86) and production of cytokines (e.g. TNFα and IL-10). In line with these in vitro results, EcN promoted DC maturation during the pre-weaning phase of the in vivo study. Furthermore, ex-vivo re-stimulated immune cells from EcN treated animals produced higher amounts of the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10. Conclusion: These results indicate that yeast derived β-glucans and EcN demonstrated to possess immunomodulatory properties, but the type and magnitude differed. Especially EcN has the potential to enhance the porcine immune system during the pre-weaning phase, but any long lasting effects of the remain to be elucidated.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWIAS Annual Conference 2020
Subtitle of host publicationFrontiers in Animal Sciences
Publication statusPublished - 14 Feb 2020


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