Characterization of bacteriocinogenic Enterococcus isolates from wild and laboratory rabbits for the selection of autochthonous probiotic strains in Tunisia

J Appl Microbiol. 2021 Feb 24. doi: 10.1111/jam.15047. Online ahead of print.


AIM: The objective of this study was to characterize lactic acid bacteria (LAB) from rabbits to be used as potential autochthonous probiotic.

METHODS AND RESULTS: Fifteen faecal samples were collected from wild and laboratory rabbits. One hundred and eight isolates were collected and tested for their inhibitory power against eight pathogenic bacteria. Among them 43 Enterococcus isolates were able to inhibit at least one pathogen. Enterocine genes entA, entB, and entP were detected in 14, 17, and 22 isolates, respectively. These isolates were tested for their antibiotic susceptibility and genes encoding virulence factors. Relevant phenotypes of antibiotic resistance were observed especially for ampicillin, vancomycin and linezolid. The following virulence genes were detected (number of positive isolates): hyl (5), esp (8), gelE (30), agg (2), ace (21), efa (6), CylLL/s (5), cob (26), cpd (32), and ccf (33). Five isolates were considered as safe and showed tolerance to both acid and bile salt.

CONCLUSION: bacteriocinogenic enterococci isolates from rabbits may be shows relevant resistance phenotypes and virulence factors. In addition, one E. durans isolate presents promising autochthonous probiotic candidate.

SIGNIFICANCE AND IMPACT OF THE STUDY: This study reveals interesting properties for E. durans isolate and supports their utilization as autochthonous probiotic in rabbit husbandry.

PMID:33629433 | DOI:10.1111/jam.15047