Bacterial invasion of HT29-MTX-E12 monolayers: effects of human breast milk

Tim Hall, David Dymock, Anthony P Corfield, Gillian Weaver, Mark Woodward, Monica Berry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

2 Citations (Scopus)


AIM: The supramucosal gel, crucial for gut barrier function, might be compromised in necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC). Breast milk is associated with a reduced incidence of NEC. We compared the effects of human breast milk (BM) versus a neonatal formula, Nutriprem 1 (FF), on adherence, internalisation, and penetration of NEC-associated Escherichia coli through monolayers of mucus producing intestinal cells, HT29-MTX-E12 (E12).

METHODS: E12 cells were grown to confluence on membranes permeable to bacteria. E. coli, reference strain and isolated from a NEC-affected intestine, were cultured in LB broth, labelled with fluorescein and biotinylated. Bacteria were suspended in tissue culture medium (TC) or mixtures of TC with BM or FF and applied to the E12 cultures. Bacterial numbers were assessed by fluorescence. DyLight 650-labelled neutravidin, which cannot cross cell membrane, evaluated extracellular bacteria. Fluorescence of basolateral medium was measured to quantify translocation. Bacterial concentrations were compared using the Mann Whitney U test.

RESULTS: After 1h exposure, E12 cultures adhered or internalised more NEC-derived bacteria than standard strain E. coli and more suspended in FF than BM (P<0.001). A greater proportion of NEC-derived bacteria internalised when suspended in TC or BM. In FF, the NEC-derived strain internalised least. More translocation occurred in BM incubations compared to FF in the first 1-4h: NEC-E. coli less than the reference strain. After 24h translocated bacterial populations were equal.

CONCLUSION: In this pilot study, breast milk was associated with relatively less adhesion and internalisation of NEC-associated E. coli to mucus covered E12s compared to formula milk.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)353-7; discussion 357-8
JournalJournal of Pediatric Surgery
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2013


  • Bacterial Physiological Phenomena
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Enterocolitis, Necrotizing
  • Escherichia coli
  • HT29 Cells
  • Humans
  • Intestines
  • Milk, Human
  • Pilot Projects
  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Bacterial invasion of HT29-MTX-E12 monolayers: effects of human breast milk'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this

    Hall, T., Dymock, D., Corfield, A. P., Weaver, G., Woodward, M., & Berry, M. (2013). Bacterial invasion of HT29-MTX-E12 monolayers: effects of human breast milk. Journal of Pediatric Surgery, 48(2), 353-7; discussion 357-8.