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Klebsiella quasipneumoniae is an opportunistic pathogen causing antibiotic-resistant infections of the gastrointestinal tract in many clinical cases. Orally delivered bioactive Klebsiella-specific antimicrobial proteins, klebicins, could be a promising method to eradicate Klebsiella species infecting the gut. Mouse infection model was established based on infection of antibiotic-treated BALB/C mice with K. quasipneumoniae strain DSM28212. Four study groups were used (3 animals/group) to test the antimicrobial efficacy of orally delivered klebicin KvarIa: vehicle-only group (control, phosphate-buffered saline), and other three groups with bacteria, antibiotic therapy and 100 µg of uncoated Kvarla, 100 µg coated KvarIa, 1000 µg coated-KvarIa. Because of the general sensitivity of bacteriocins to gastroduodenal proteases, Kvarla doses were coated with Eudragit®, a GMP-certified formulation agent that releases the protein at certain pH. The coating treatment was selected based on measurements of mouse GI tract pH. The quantity of Klebsiella haemolysin gene (khe) in faecal samples of the study animals was used to quantify the presence of Klebsiella. GI colonization of K. quasipneumoniae was achieved only in the antibiotic-treated mice groups. Significant changes in khe marker quantification were found after the use of Eudragit® S100 formulated klebicin KvarIa, at both doses, with a significant reduction of K. quasipneumoniae colonization compared to the vehicle-only control group. Mouse GI tract colonization with K. quasipneumoniae can be achieved if natural gut microbiota is suppressed by prior antibiotic treatment. The study demonstrates that GI infection caused by K. quasipneumoniae can be significantly reduced using Eudragit®-protected klebicin KvarIa. © 2022. The Author(s).


Indre Karaliute, Rima Ramonaite, Jurga Bernatoniene, Vilma Petrikaite, Audrius Misiunas, Erna Denkovskiene, Ausra Razanskiene, Yuri Gleba, Juozas Kupcinskas, Jurgita Skieceviciene. Reduction of gastrointestinal tract colonization by Klebsiella quasipneumoniae using antimicrobial protein KvarIa. Gut pathogens. 2022 Apr 26;14(1):17

PMID: 35473598

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