Current Microbiology

, Volume 62, Issue 5, pp 1602–1609 | Cite as

Milk Kefir: Ultrastructure, Antimicrobial Activity and Efficacy on Aflatoxin B1 Production by Aspergillus flavus

  • Ahmed A. Ismaiel
  • Mohamed F. Ghaly
  • Ayman K. El-Naggar


The association of kefir microbiota was observed by electron microscopic examination. Scanning electron microscopic (SEM) observations revealed that kefir grain surface is very rough and the inner portions had scattered irregular holes on its surface. The interior of the grain comprised fibrillar materials which were interpreted as protein, lipid and a soluble polysaccharide, the kefiran complex that surrounds yeast and bacteria in the grain. Yeast was observed more clearly than bacteria on the outer portion of the grain. Transmission electron microscopic (TEM) observations of kefir revealed that the grain comprised a mixed culture of yeast and bacteria growing in close association with each other. Microbiota is dominated by budded and long-flattened yeast cells growing together with lactobacilli and lactococci bacteria. Bacterial cells with rounded ends were also observed in this mixed culture. Kefir grains, kefir suspensions, and kefiran were tested for antimicrobial activities against several bacterial and fungal species. The highest activity was obtained against Streptococcus faecalis KR6 and Fusarium graminearum CZ1. Growth of Aspergillus flavus AH3 producing for aflatoxin B1 for 10 days in broth medium supplemented with varying concentrations of kefir filtrate (%, v/v) showed that sporulation was completely inhibited at the higher concentrations of kefir filtrate (7–10%, v/v). The average values of both mycelial dry weights and aflatoxin B1 were completely inhibited at 10% (v/v). This is the first in vitro study about the antifungal characteristics of kefir against filamentous fungi which was manifested by applying its inhibitory effect on the productivity of aflatoxin B1 by A. flavus AH3.


Lactobacillus Aflatoxin Lactic Acid Bacterium Antifungal Activity Mixed Culture 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We thank the technicians of the Central Laboratory of Electron Microscope, Faculty of Science, Zagazig University, Egypt for performance of the processing steps of SEM and TEM.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ahmed A. Ismaiel
    • 1
  • Mohamed F. Ghaly
    • 1
  • Ayman K. El-Naggar
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Botany and Microbiology, Faculty of ScienceZagazig UniversityZagazigEgypt

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