Fermentation of mucin by bifidobacteria from rectal samples of humans and rectal and intestinal samples of animals
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Bifidobacteria (246 strains in total) were isolated from rectal samples of infants and adult humans and animals, and from intestinal samples of calves. Twenty-five strains grew well on mucin: 20 from infants, two from adults, and three from goatlings. Poor or no growth on mucin was observed in 156 bifidobacterial strains of animal origin. The difference between human and animal isolates in ability to grow on mucin was significant at p < 0.001. Nine human strains with the best growth on mucin were identified as Bifidobacterium bifidum. These strains produced extracellular, membrane-bound, and intracellular mucinases with activities of 0.11, 0.53, and 0.09 μmol/min of reducing sugars per milligram of protein, respectively. Membrane-bound mucinases were active between pH 5 and 10. The optimum pH of extracellular mucinases was 6–7. Fermentation patterns in cultures grown on mucin and glucose differed. On mucin, the acetate-to-lactate ratio was higher than in cultures grown on glucose (p = 0.012). We showed that the bifidobacteria belong to the mucin-fermenting bacteria in humans, but their significance in mucin degradation in animals seems to be limited.
KeywordsHuman Strain Bifidobacterium Longum Gastric Mucin Galacturonates Bifidobacterium Bifidum
This research was supported by the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic (project AV0Z 5045 0515).
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