Pancreatic juice protects gut from pathogenic bacteria

Danuta Kruszewska, Åsa Ljungh, Stefan Pierzynowski

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingPaper in conference proceedingResearchpeer-review


The role of the exocrine pancreas in regulating gut microflora colonization is unclear. The main objective in the present study was to assess the affect of pancreatic fluid on the growth of pathogenic bacteria and fungi. Pancreatic juice samples used in the study were obtained from nine eight-week old weaned pigs in which catheters were implanted in the pancreatic duct. The antibacterial activity of pure pig pancreatic juice collected from healthy, conscious and also anaesthetized pigs was investigated with multi-resistant microbial isolates and non-pathogenic strains. Studies were performed on 23 bacterial and 2 Candida albicans isolates, including 4 lactic acid bacteria (LAB) and 3 reference strains. Pancreatic juice was effective (p<0.01) against multidrug resistant bacterial pathogens, whereas other strains had only moderate sensitivity (p<0.05) to its antibacterial action and furthermore LAB were insensitive. The antibacterial action was independent of pancreatic juice proteolytic activity and stable when measured before and after enterokinase activation of trypsinogen. We demonstrated in vitro, that the antibacterial properties of pancreatic juice last for several hours. Our data suggests that broth composition may modulate the intensity of pancreatic juice antibacterial activity in vitro; this can have implications for digestive related antibacterial activity in vivo. Thus, pancreatic juice antibacterial activity may be an important factor in limiting the colonization of pathogenic bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract, in both the small and the large intestines. We postulate that observed antibacterial activity of the pancreatic juice could play an important role as one of the factor of innate immunity.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProgress in Research on Energy and Protein Metabolism
PublisherWageningen Academic Publishers
ISBN (Print)978-90-76998-24-4
Publication statusPublished - 2003
EventInternational Symposium on Energy and Protein Metabolism and Nutrition - Rostock, Germany
Duration: 2003 Sep 132003 Sep 18

Publication series

ISSN (Print)0071-2477


ConferenceInternational Symposium on Energy and Protein Metabolism and Nutrition

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Microbiology in the medical area


  • pancreas
  • innate immunity


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