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This chapter on probiotic focuses on the properties, underlying mechanisms, and clinical uses of strain Nissle 1917 as this is the most widely used and studied strain. However, it also refers to important work that has been done using other strains. The enterobacterium can be extraintestinally pathogenic (e.g., uropathogenic), intestinally pathogenic (e.g., enteropathogenic or enterohemorrhagic), and nonpathogenic or commensal (e.g., probiotic). The probiotic strain Nissle 1917 was isolated in 1917 from a soldier who appeared to be protected from gastrointestinal infections causing severe diarrhea in many of his comrades. Since that time, EcN has been studied intensively, not only with a focus on its apparent clinical use but also with a view to understanding how it counteracts the pathogenic mechanisms underlying a number of diseases. Its uniqueness, not only among other strains but also among other probiotic microorganisms, is evident. While being the subject of research for many other indications, this strain seems to be particularly relevant as an alternative to mesalazine in the maintenance of remission of ulcerative colitis (UC) and has potential for the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Citation: Schultz M. 2008. , p 83-96. In Versalovic J, Wilson M (ed), Therapeutic Microbiology. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815462.ch7

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Figure 1

Scanning electron microscopic image (magnification, 20, × 000) of , kindly provided by H. J. Jacob, Ruhr University, Bochum, Germany.

Citation: Schultz M. 2008. , p 83-96. In Versalovic J, Wilson M (ed), Therapeutic Microbiology. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815462.ch7
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Image of Figure 2
Figure 2

Fecal sample from a mouse following oral administration of green fluorescent protein expressing Nissle 1917 cultured on MacConkey agar plates and photographed under UV light. In this black and white image, colonies of fluorescent Nissle 1917 appear white in contrast to the gray colonies of the other organisms.

Citation: Schultz M. 2008. , p 83-96. In Versalovic J, Wilson M (ed), Therapeutic Microbiology. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815462.ch7
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Generic image for table
Table 1

Clinical trials and observations with Nissle 1917

Citation: Schultz M. 2008. , p 83-96. In Versalovic J, Wilson M (ed), Therapeutic Microbiology. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815462.ch7
Generic image for table
Table 2

Clinical trials and observations with other probiotic preparations

Citation: Schultz M. 2008. , p 83-96. In Versalovic J, Wilson M (ed), Therapeutic Microbiology. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815462.ch7

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