Milk from transgenic goat expressing human lysozyme for recovery and treatment of gastrointestinal pathogens

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Lysozyme is an important non-specific immune protein in human milk, modulating the immune response against bacterial infections. The aim of this study was to characterize the milk of a transgenic goat expressing a recombinant human lysozyme (rhLZ) in the milk, also testing the in vitro antibacterial activity of the rhLZ milk against pathogens of the gastrointestinal tract. Milk samples collected from Tg and non-transgenic goats (nTg) from the 3rd to the 11th week of lactation were submitted to physicochemical analyses, rhLZ semi-quantification, and to rhLZ antimicrobial activity against Micrococcus luteus, Shiguella sonnei and Enterococcus faecalis. Viability and cell migration were studied in ileum epithelial cells (IEC-18) in absence or presence of E. faecalis, Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli (EPEC) and S. sonnei. The expression of ZO-1 and IL-6 genes was evaluated in IEC-18 to evaluate the effect of rhLZ milk on intestinal barrier function and intestinal inflammation. Physicochemical parameters between goat Tg and nTg milk were similar and within normal values for human consumption, with hLZ concentrations being similar between Tg (224 μg/mL) and human (226 μg/mL) milk. The Tg milk had bactericidal activity against M. luteus, no bactericidal effect on S. sonnei, and relative to discrete sensitivity against E. feacalis than controls. Better migrating parameters were observed in cells in culture with nTg and Tg than controls. In the presence of pathogens, the Tg milk promoted improved migrating parameters than controls, except for S. sonnei, with lower cell numbers in the presence of nTg samples and E. faecalis and S. sonnei. No differences in ZO-1 relative expression patterns were observed in cultured cells, with increased expression in IL-6 in cells exposed to nTg milk than controls, with the Tg group being similar to all groups. In conclusion, goat milk containing rhLZ demonstrated valid evidence for its potential use as a nutraceutical for improvement of health and nutrition quality in humans.

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