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Possible correlation between levansucrase production and probiotic activity of Bacillus sp. isolated from honey and honey bee

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Five bacterial isolates from honey and bee gut were selected based on their high levansucrase activity and levan yield which were strongly positively correlated. All isolates showed good tolerance to temperature up to 70 °C, to NaCl up to 3 M and to 0.1% H2O2. They maintained over 59 and 64% survival at pH 9.0 and 2.0 respectively, but showed varying tolerance to 0.1% bile salts and pancreatic enzymes. Most isolates were susceptible to widely used antibiotics, but demonstrated diverse antimicrobial activity. Non hemolytic isolates were identified on the basis of 16S rRNA sequencing as Bacillus subtilis HMNig-2 and B. subtilis MENO2 with 97% homology. They exhibited promising probiotic characteristics and achieved highest levansucrase activity of 94.1 and 81.5 U/mL respectively. Both exhibited highest biofilm formation ability in static microtiter plate assay. Also, they achieved 34 and 26% adhesion respectively to Caco-2cells and had highest free radical scavenging activity of 30.8 and 26.2% respectively. The levans of the two isolates showed good antimicrobial activity against some pathogens and exhibited positive prebiotic effect (prebiotic index >1) with Lactobacillus casei and Lactobacillus reuteri. Results suggest a correlation between levansucrase production, levan yield and pre-probiotic activities of the studied strains.

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This work was supported by National Research Center, Chemistry of Natural and Microbial Products Department by project Grant Number 10050305. Special thanks to Prof. Harold Corke (Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China) for his generous help in revising the paper’s language.

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Correspondence to Mona A. Esawy.

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Hamdy, A.A., Elattal, N.A., Amin, M.A. et al. Possible correlation between levansucrase production and probiotic activity of Bacillus sp. isolated from honey and honey bee. World J Microbiol Biotechnol 33, 69 (2017).

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  • Honey isolates
  • Probiotic bacteria
  • Levansucrase
  • Levan
  • Prebiotic