Interferon (IFN)-λ plays an essential role in mucosal cells which exhibit strong antiviral activity. Lactobacillus plantarum (L. plantarum) has substantial application potential in the food and medical industries because of its probiotic properties. Alphacoronaviruses, especially porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) and transmissible gastroenteritis virus (TGEV), cause high morbidity and mortality in piglets resulting in economic loss. Co-infection by these two viruses is becoming increasingly frequent. Therefore, it is particularly important to develop a new drug to prevent diarrhea infected with mixed viruses in piglets. In this study, we first constructed an anchored expression vector with CWA (C-terminal cell wall anchor) on L. plantarum. Second, we constructed two recombinant L. plantarum strains that anchored IFN-λ3 via pgsA (N-terminal transmembrane anchor) and CWA. Third, we demonstrated that both recombinant strains possess strong antiviral effects against coronavirus infection in the intestinal porcine epithelial cell line J2 (IPEC-J2). However, recombinant L. plantarum with the CWA anchor exhibited a more powerful antiviral effect than recombinant L. plantarum with pgsA. Consistent with this finding, Lb.plantarum-pSIP-409-IFN- λ3-CWA enhanced the expression levels of IFN-stimulated genes (ISGs) (ISG15, OASL, and Mx1) in IPEC-J2 cells more than did recombinant Lb.plantarum-pSIP-409-pgsA'-IFN-λ3. Our study verifies that recombinant L. plantarum inhibits PEDV and TGEV infection in IPEC-J2 cells, which may offer great potential for use as a novel oral antiviral agent in therapeutic applications for combating porcine epidemic diarrhea and transmissible gastroenteritis. This study is the first to show that recombinant L. plantarum suppresses PEDV and TGEV infection of IPEC-J2 cells.
Porcine IFN-λ3, Lactobacillus plantarum, surface-displayed, porcine enteric coronaviruses, antiviral agent