Many strains of lactic acid bacteria have been used for the production of probiotics. Some metabolites produced by lactic acid bacteria impair the motilities of pathogenic bacteria. Because bacterial motility is strongly associated with virulence, the metabolic activities of lactic acid bacteria are effective for suppressing bacterial infections. Here we show that lactose fermentation by Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis inhibits the motility of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium. A single-cell tracking and rotation assay for a single flagellum showed that the swimming behaviour of Salmonella was severely but transiently impaired through disruption of flagellar rotation on exposure to media cultivated with Lac. lactis. Using a pH-sensitive fluorescent protein, we observed that the intracellular pH of Salmonella was decreased because of some fermentation products of Lac. lactis. We identified acetate as the lactose fermentation product of Lac. lactis triggering the paralysis of Salmonella flagella. The motilities of Pseudomonas, Vibrio and Leptospira strains were also severely disrupted by lactose utilization by Lac. lactis. These results highlight the potential use of Lac. lactis for preventing infections by multiple bacterial species.
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