Archives of Microbiology

, Volume 193, Issue 3, pp 157–168

Horizontal gene transfer amongst probiotic lactic acid bacteria and other intestinal microbiota: what are the possibilities? A review


DOI: 10.1007/s00203-010-0668-3

Cite this article as:
van Reenen, C.A. & Dicks, L.M.T. Arch Microbiol (2011) 193: 157. doi:10.1007/s00203-010-0668-3


Probiotics are live cultures, usually lactic acid bacteria, which are ingested to promote a healthy gastrointestinal tract. These organisms require certain traits to survive and compete in this niche, but these traits may be transferred to other microbiota in the gastrointestinal tract (GIT). Similarly, virulence factors from pathogens may be acquired by probiotic strains. Bacteria have developed a plethora of methods to transfer genetic material between strains, species and genera. In this review, the possible factors that may be exchanged and the methods of exchange are discussed.


ProbioticsIntestinal microbiotaGene transfer

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of MicrobiologyUniversity of StellenboschMatieland, StellenboschSouth Africa