Orally active bivalent VHH construct prevents proliferation of F4+ enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli in weaned piglets

Berthe Katrine Fiil, Sandra Wingaard Thrane, Michael Pichler, Tiia Kittilä, Line Ledsgaard, Shirin Ahmadi, Grith Miriam Maigaard Hermansen, Lars Jelsbak, Charlotte Lauridsen, Susanne Brix, Andreas Hougaard Laustsen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

5 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

A major challenge in industrial pig production is the prevalence of post-weaning diarrhea (PWD) in piglets, often caused by enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC). The increased use of antibiotics and zinc oxide to treat PWD has raised global concerns regarding antimicrobial resistance development and environmental pollution. Still, alternative treatments targeting ETEC and counteracting PWD are largely lacking. Here, we report the design of a pH, temperature, and protease-stable bivalent VHH-based protein BL1.2 that cross-links a F4+ ETEC model strain by selectively binding to its fimbriae. This protein inhibits F4+ ETEC adhesion to porcine epithelial cells ex vivo and decreases F4+ ETEC proliferation when administrated as a feed additive to weaned F4+ ETEC challenged piglets. These findings highlight the potential of a highly specific bivalent VHH-based feed additive in effectively delimiting pathogenic F4+ ETEC bacteria proliferation in piglets and may represent a sustainable solution for managing PWD while circumventing antimicrobial resistance development.
Original languageEnglish
Article number104003
JournaliScience
Volume25
Issue number4
Number of pages18
ISSN2589-0042
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Orally active bivalent VHH construct prevents proliferation of F4+ enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli in weaned piglets'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this