Risk Assessment of Genetically Modified Lactic Acid Bacteria Using the Concept of Substantial Equivalence


The use of food-grade microorganisms such as lactic acid bacteria (LAB) is one of the most promising methods for delivering health promoting compounds. Since it is not always possible to obtain strains that have the ability to produce specific compounds naturally or that produce them in sufficient quantities to obtain physiological responses, genetic modifications can be performed to improve their output. The objective of this study was to evaluate if previously studied genetically modified LAB (GM-LAB), with proven in vivo beneficial effects, are just as safe as the progenitor strain from which they were derived. Mice received an elevated concentration of different GM-LAB or the native parental strain from which they were derived during a prolonged period of time, and different health parameters were evaluated. Similar growth rates, hematological values, and other physiological parameters were obtained in the animals that received the GM-LAB compared to those that were fed with the native strain. These results demonstrate that the GM-LAB used in this study are just as safe as the native strains from which they were derived and thus merit further studies to include them into the food chain.

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This work was supported by Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET), the Agencia Nacional de Promoción Científica y Tecnológica (ANPCyT), Consejo de Investigaciones de la Universidad Nacional de Tucumán (CIUNT) ECOS-Sud (Paris, France) and the European Commission through contract QLK1-CT-2000-01376 (Nutracells).

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Correspondence to Jean Guy LeBlanc.

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LeBlanc, J.G., Van Sinderen, D., Hugenholtz, J. et al. Risk Assessment of Genetically Modified Lactic Acid Bacteria Using the Concept of Substantial Equivalence. Curr Microbiol 61, 590–595 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00284-010-9657-7

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  • Lactis
  • Lactic Acid Bacterium
  • Genetically Modify Organism
  • Native Strain
  • Megaloblastic Anemia