Receptor-targeted engineered probiotics mitigate lethal Listeria infection. Academic Article uri icon


  • Probiotic bacteria reduce the intestinal colonization of pathogens. Yet, their use in preventing fatal infection caused by foodborne Listeria monocytogenes (Lm), is inconsistent. Here, we bioengineered Lactobacillus probiotics (BLP) to express the Listeria adhesion protein (LAP) from a non-pathogenic Listeria (L. innocua) and a pathogenic Listeria (Lm) on the surface of Lactobacillus casei. The BLP strains colonize the intestine, reduce Lm mucosal colonization and systemic dissemination, and protect mice from lethal infection. The BLP competitively excludes Lm by occupying the surface presented LAP receptor, heat shock protein 60 and ameliorates the Lm-induced intestinal barrier dysfunction by blocking the nuclear factor-B and myosin light chain kinase-mediated redistribution of the major epithelial junctional proteins. Additionally, the BLP increases intestinal immunomodulatory functions by recruiting FOXP3+T cells, CD11c+ dendritic cells and natural killer cells. Engineering a probiotic strain with an adhesion protein from a non-pathogenic bacterium provides a new paradigm to exclude pathogens and amplify their inherent health benefits.

published proceedings

  • Nat Commun

altmetric score

  • 42.99

author list (cited authors)

  • Drolia, R., Amalaradjou, M., Ryan, V., Tenguria, S., Liu, D., Bai, X., ... Bhunia, A. K.

citation count

  • 18

complete list of authors

  • Drolia, Rishi||Amalaradjou, Mary Anne Roshni||Ryan, Valerie||Tenguria, Shivendra||Liu, Dongqi||Bai, Xingjian||Xu, Luping||Singh, Atul K||Cox, Abigail D||Bernal-Crespo, Victor||Schaber, James A||Applegate, Bruce M||Vemulapalli, Ramesh||Bhunia, Arun K

publication date

  • January 2020