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    Polyphenols are a class of bioactive plant secondary metabolites that are thought to have beneficial effects on gut health, such as modulation of mucosal immune and inflammatory responses and regulation of parasite burdens. Here, we examined the interactions between a polyphenol-rich diet supplement and infection with the enteric nematode Ascaris suum in pigs. Pigs were fed either a basal diet or the same diet supplemented with grape pomace (GP), an industrial by-product rich in polyphenols such as oligomeric proanthocyanidins. Half of the animals in each group were then inoculated with A. suum for 14 days to assess parasite establishment, acquisition of local and systemic immune responses and effects on the gut microbiome. Despite in vitro anthelmintic activity of GP-extracts, numbers of parasite larvae in the intestine were not altered by GP-supplementation. However, the bioactive diet significantly increased numbers of eosinophils induced by A. suum infection in the duodenum, jejunum and ileum, and modulated gene expression in the jejunal mucosa of infected pigs. Both GP-supplementation and A. suum infection induced significant and apparently similar changes in the composition of the prokaryotic gut microbiota, and both also decreased concentrations of isobutyric and isovaleric acid (branched-chain short chain fatty acids) in the colon. Our results demonstrate that while a polyphenol-enriched diet in pigs may not directly influence A. suum establishment, it significantly modulates the subsequent host response to helminth infection. Our results suggest an influence of diet on immune function which may potentially be exploited to enhance immunity to helminths.

    Citation

    Andrew R Williams, Lukasz Krych, Hajar Fauzan Ahmad, Peter Nejsum, Kerstin Skovgaard, Dennis S Nielsen, Stig M Thamsborg. A polyphenol-enriched diet and Ascaris suum infection modulate mucosal immune responses and gut microbiota composition in pigs. PloS one. 2017;12(10):e0186546

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    PMID: 29028844

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