CORK, Ireland, March 20 (UPI) -- Irish scientists have found treatment with probiotic bacteria can reduce Salmonella infections in pigs and might have potential human applications.
Salmonella is one of the major causes of food-borne gastroenteritis worldwide. Probiotics are live microorganisms believed to promote a health benefit in the host when administered in controlled amounts.
In the study, led by Pat Casey of University College in Cork, Ireland, the researchers divided pigs into two groups, one of which received milk containing five lactic acid bacteria probiotic strains and the other, serving as a control group, received regular milk for 30 days.
Following 6 days of treatment the pigs were exposed orally with Salmonella bacteria and their health was then monitored for 23 days.
The researchers reported pigs receiving probiotic treatment showed reduced incidence, severity, and duration of diarrhea, as well as significantly lower numbers of Salmonella in fecal samples 15 days post-infection.
"The administered probiotic bacteria improved both the clinical and microbiological outcome of Salmonella infection," said the researchers. "These strains offer significant benefit for use in the food industry and may have potential in human applications."
The research is detailed in the March issue of the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology.