Recently, probiotics has drawn much attention as an alternative of antibiotics because overuse use of antibiotics has caused widespread bacterial resistance. Given that prebiotics enhance the activity of probiotics, we prepared phthalyl dextran nanoparticles (PDNs) by conjugation of phthalic anhydride with dextran to form a prebiotic and checked its effects on the cellular and antimicrobial properties of the probiotics. First, we found that the internalization of PDNs by probiotics was dependent on temperature, time, and glucose transporters. Internalization of PDNs enhanced the production of antimicrobial peptides by probiotics through self-defense mechanism and resulted in higher antimicrobial activities against Gram-positive and -negative pathogens compared to probiotics themselves. Moreover, pediocin produced by PDN-internalized probiotics was able to suppress pathogenic gut infections and alter the population of gut microbiome in vivo. The enhanced antimicrobial property of Pediococcus acidilactidi internalized with PDNs could decrease the number of pathogens and increase beneficial bacteria species in mice. Furthermore, the composition of gut microbiome was changed, and resulted in preventing reduction of the diversity of the microflora. Our results indicate that PDNs as a new type of prebiotic can regulate probiotic bacterial metabolism, suggesting a new avenue for probiotic modulation and their use in addressing the challenge of bacterial resistance.
Keywords : Prebiotics; Probiotics; Dextran nanoparticles; Internalization; Antimicrobial peptide