Passiflora edulis extract effects on probiotic and pathogenic modulation for healthier microbiota



The mechanism of adhesion of pathogenic bacteria in intestinal epithelial cells is essential in the process of colonization by these pathogens and subsequent intestinal infection. On the other hand, adhesion of probiotic bacteria can inhibit pathogen adhesion and infection by blocking specific receptors by competitive exclusion mechanisms and confers health benefits by other means. To find a safe product that would be able to promote, simultaneously, the adhesion of probiotic strains and inhibit the adhesion of pathogens was the main goal of this work.


We evaluated the effects of Passiflora edulis leaf aqueous extract on the adhesion of three probiotic (Lactobacillus rhamnosus, MB154; Lactobacillus casei, MB151; and Bifidobacterium lactis) and four pathogenic strains (Escherichia coli 11229, Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella enteritidis, and Salmonella typhimurium) to Caco-2 monolayers, in vitro human intestinal epithelial model.


Passiflora edulis extract (5 and 10 mg mL−1) increased the adhesion of all probiotic strains tested in a range from around 150 up to 880%, depending on the strain tested. For the pathogenic strains, on the other hand, the extract mainly decreased adhesion in significant rates for all tested microorganisms.


Passiflora edulis leaf extract is an interesting source of phenolic compounds that showed to be a potential microbiota-modulating product, stimulating the adhesion of probiotic bacteria, and inhibits the adhesion of pathogens strains. This extract has a great potential for the development of a symbiotic supplement, along with probiotic supplementation.

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Fig. 1
Fig. 2

Availability of data and materials

The datasets used and/or analyzed during the current study are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.



Tryptic soy broth


De Man, Rogosa, and Sharpe broth


Passiflora edulis leaf extract


Dulbecco’s modified Eagle’s medium


Fetal bovine serum


3-(4,5-dimethyl-2-thiazolyl)-2,5-diphenyl-2H-tetrazolium bromide


Phosphate-buffered saline


Sodium dodecyl sulfate


Dulbecco’s phosphate buffered saline


Analysis of variance


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The authors thank Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior - Brasil (CAPES), and Conselho Nacional de Pesquisa e Tecnologia (CNPq), and Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo (FAPESP).


This research counted on the financial support of the Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior—Brasil (CAPES)—Finance Code 001; CNPq (403328/2016-0; 301108/2016-1) and FAPESP (2015/50333-1).

Author information




MCLC contributed to the experimental design and data analysis. IMM contributed to the experimental design and data analysis and reviewed the manuscript. PMM contributed to the experimental design and data analysis. GAM contributed to the experimental design. JAM contributed to the data analysis and wrote and reviewed the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

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Correspondence to Mônica Cristina Lopes do Carmo.

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This study was approved by Conselho de Gestão do Patrimônio Genético-CGEN (registration no. ADE06F0).

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The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

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do Carmo, M.C.L., Martins, I.M., de Paula Menezes Barbosa, P. et al. Passiflora edulis extract effects on probiotic and pathogenic modulation for healthier microbiota. Nutrire 45, 15 (2020).

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  • Caco-2 cells
  • Passiflora edulis leaf
  • Bacterial adhesion
  • Lactobacillus spp.
  • Escherichia coli
  • Diet-microbiota interactions