Probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG Enhanced Th1 Cellular Immunity but Did Not Affect Antibody Responses in a Human Gut Microbiota Transplanted Neonatal Gnotobiotic Pig Model


This study aims to establish a human gut microbiota (HGM) transplanted gnotobiotic (Gn) pig model of human rotavirus (HRV) infection and diarrhea, and to verify the dose-effects of probiotics on HRV vaccine-induced immune responses. Our previous studies using the Gn pig model found that probiotics dose-dependently regulated both T cell and B cell immune responses induced by rotavirus vaccines. We generated the HGM transplanted neonatal Gn pigs through daily feeding of neonatal human fecal suspension to germ-free pigs for 3 days starting at 12 hours after birth. We found that attenuated HRV (AttHRV) vaccination conferred similar overall protection against rotavirus diarrhea and virus shedding in Gn pigs and HGM transplanted Gn pigs. HGM promoted the development of the neonatal immune system, as evidenced by the significantly enhanced IFN-c producing T cell responses and reduction of regulatory T cells and their cytokine production in the AttHRV-vaccinated pigs. The higher dose Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (LGG) feeding (14 doses, up to 109 colonyforming-unit [CFU]/dose) effectively increased the LGG counts in the HGM Gn pig intestinal contents and significantly enhanced HRV-specific IFN-c producing T cell responses to the AttHRV vaccine. Lower dose LGG (9 doses, up to 106 CFU/dose) was ineffective. Neither doses of LGG significantly improved the protection rate, HRV-specific IgA and IgG antibody titers in serum, or IgA antibody titers in intestinal contents compared to the AttHRV vaccine alone, suggesting that an even higher dose of LGG is needed to overcome the influence of the microbiota to achieve the immunostimulatory effect in the HGM pigs. This study demonstrated that HGM Gn pig is an applicable animal model for studying immune responses to rotavirus vaccines and can be used for studying interventions (i.e., probiotics and prebiotics) that may enhance the immunogenicity and protective efficacy of vaccines through improving the gut microbiota



human rotavirus infection, flora-associated piglets, wa human rotavirus, germ-free, protective immunity, vaccine, bacteria, diarrhea, disease, immunogenicity