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Resistance to Simulated Gastrointestinal Conditions and Adhesion to Mucus as Probiotic Criteria for Bifidobacterium longum Strains


Eight Bifidobacterium longum strains, including reported probiotic strains (commercial and noncommercial), collection strains, and laboratory isolates, were investigated for their ability to adhere to mucin as well as their ability to tolerate acid and bile. Strains could be discriminated based on their sensitivity at pH values of 2.0 to 2.5 and bile concentrations of 0.5% to 2.0%. B. longum NCC 2705, a strain known for its probiotic properties, showed the highest resistance to gastrointestinal conditions, whereas the commercial probiotic strains B. longum BB 536 and SP 07/3 were the least resistant. In parallel, the human isolate B. longum BIF 53 showed the highest adhesion to mucin, whereas the commercial probiotic strains B. longum W 11, BB 536, and SP 07/3 were the least adhesive. The bacterial adhesion to mucin of strains B. longum NCC 2705 and BIF 53 could be reduced by lysozyme, indicating that cell-wall components are involved in the adhesion process. These results showed that there is no obvious link between adhesion and resistance to gastrointestinal conditions and the probiotic status of the studied strains. This calls for a definition of conditions for in vitro tests that better predict the in vivo functionality of probiotic strains.

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Nestec (Nestec Ltd, Nestlé Research Center Lausanne, Switzerland) and Comercial Química Masó (Barcelona, Spain) are acknowledged for providing the strains B. longum NCC 2705 and B. longum BB 536, respectively. This work was supported by the “Ministère de l'Enseignement Supérieur et de la Recherche” and by Grants No. AGL2005-05788-C02-01 and Consolider Fun-C-Food CSD2007-00063 from the Spanish Ministry of Science and Education (MEC). The postdoctoral grant to M Medina from MEC (Spain) is also fully acknowledged.

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Correspondence to Y. Sanz.

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Izquierdo, E., Medina, M., Ennahar, S. et al. Resistance to Simulated Gastrointestinal Conditions and Adhesion to Mucus as Probiotic Criteria for Bifidobacterium longum Strains. Curr Microbiol 56, 613–618 (2008).

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  • Probiotic Strain
  • Adhesion Ability
  • Bile Concentration
  • Growth Ability
  • Bifidobacterium Longum