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  • Author or Editor: M. Willemsen x
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To provide insight in the molecular basis for intestinal host-microbe interactions, we determined the genome-wide transcriptional response of human intestinal epithelial cells following exposure to cells of Bifidobacterium breve. To select an appropriate test system reflecting inflammatory conditions, the responsiveness to TNF-α was compared in T84, Caco-2 and HT-29 cells. The highest TNF-α response was observed in HT-29 cells and this cell line was selected for exposure to the B. breve strains M-16V, NR246 and UCC2003. After one hour of bacterial pre-incubation followed by two hours of additional TNF-α stimulation, B. breve M-16V (86%), but to a much lesser extent strains NR246 (50%) or UCC2003 (32%), showed a strain-specific reduction of the HT-29 transcriptional response to the inflammatory treatment. The most important functional groups of genes that were transcriptionally suppressed by the presence of B. breve M-16V, were found to be involved in immune regulation and apoptotic processes. About 54% of the TNF-α induced genes were solely suppressed by the presence of B. breve M-16V. These included apoptosis-related cysteine protease caspase 7 (CASP7), interferon regulatory factor 3 (IRF3), amyloid beta (A4) precursor proteinbinding family A member 1 (APBA1), NADPH oxidase (NOX5), and leukemia inhibitory factor receptor (LIFR). The extracellular IL-8 concentration was determined by an immunological assay but did not change significantly, indicating that B. breve M-16V only partially modulates the TNF-α pathway. In conclusion, this study shows that B. breve strains modulate gene expression in HT-29 cells under inflammatory conditions in a strain-specific way.

In: Beneficial Microbes


Reared insects such as black soldier fly larvae (Hermetia illucens) are considered a potential alternative feed protein. However, dietary exposure to insecticide residues via the substrate could adversely affect performance indicators (yield/survival) and substance-transfer from substrate to larval biomass could result in non-compliance with low legal limits. Effects of pyrethroid insecticides cypermethrin and deltamethrin were tested at varying concentrations, with or without the synergist piperonyl butoxide (PBO). Concentration/response curves for yield were estimated and samples were analysed to determine concentrations of parent compounds and selected metabolites. Results suggest that deltamethrin is highly toxic to H. illucens larvae: the critical effect dose for 10% yield loss was estimated to be 0.04 mg/kg, compared to a legal limit in wheat of 2.0 mg/kg. Cypermethrin was comparatively less toxic, in line with prior studies, but may also cause significant adverse effects even for exposure levels below the legal limit – especially when combined with PBO. For both substances, transfer from substrate to larvae is a potential issue due to low limits, and transfer as well as toxicity are increased by presence of PBO. Some metabolites could be detected, but more research is needed to determine resistance mechanisms involved.

Open Access
In: Journal of Insects as Food and Feed