Next Article in Journal
Microsatellite Instability Occurs Rarely in Patients with Cholangiocarcinoma: A Retrospective Study from a German Tertiary Care Hospital
Previous Article in Journal
Effects of Protocatechuic Acid (PCA) on Global Cerebral Ischemia-Induced Hippocampal Neuronal Death
Open AccessArticle

Safety Evaluations of Bifidobacterium bifidum BGN4 and Bifidobacterium longum BORI

Research Center, BIFIDO Co., Ltd., Hongcheon 25117, Korea
Fermentation Science Program, School of Agribusiness and Agriscience, College of Basic and Applied Sciences, Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, TN 37132, USA
Department of Food and Nutrition, College of Human Ecology, Seoul National University, Seoul 08826, Korea
Department of Hotel Culinary Arts, Yeonsung University, Anyang 14001, Korea
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(5), 1422;
Received: 6 April 2018 / Revised: 30 April 2018 / Accepted: 2 May 2018 / Published: 9 May 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry)
Over the past decade, a variety of lactic acid bacteria have been commercially available to and steadily used by consumers. However, recent studies have shown that some lactic acid bacteria produce toxic substances and display properties of virulence. To establish safety guidelines for lactic acid bacteria, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)/World Health Organization (WHO) has suggested that lactic acid bacteria be characterized and proven safe for consumers’ health via multiple experiments (e.g., antibiotic resistance, metabolic activity, toxin production, hemolytic activity, infectivity in immune-compromised animal species, human side effects, and adverse-outcome analyses). Among the lactic acid bacteria, Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus species are probiotic strains that are most commonly commercially produced and actively studied. Bifidobacterium bifidum BGN4 and Bifidobacterium longum BORI have been used in global functional food markets (e.g., China, Germany, Jordan, Korea, Lithuania, New Zealand, Poland, Singapore, Thailand, Turkey, and Vietnam) as nutraceutical ingredients for decades, without any adverse events. However, given that the safety of some newly screened probiotic species has recently been debated, it is crucial that the consumer safety of each commercially utilized strain be confirmed. Accordingly, this paper details a safety assessment of B. bifidum BGN4 and B. longum BORI via the assessment of ammonia production, hemolysis of blood cells, biogenic amine production, antimicrobial susceptibility pattern, antibiotic resistance gene transferability, PCR data on antibiotic resistance genes, mucin degradation, genome stability, and possession of virulence factors. These probiotic strains showed neither hemolytic activity nor mucin degradation activity, and they did not produce ammonia or biogenic amines (i.e., cadaverine, histamine or tyramine). B. bifidum BGN4 and B. longum BORI produced a small amount of putrescine, commonly found in living cells, at levels similar to or lower than that found in other foods (e.g., spinach, ketchup, green pea, sauerkraut, and sausage). B. bifidum BGN4 showed higher resistance to gentamicin than the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) cut-off. However, this paper shows the gentamicin resistance of B. bifidum BGN4 was not transferred via conjugation with L. acidophilus ATCC 4356, the latter of which is highly susceptible to gentamicin. The entire genomic sequence of B. bifidum BGN4 has been published in GenBank (accession no.: CP001361.1), documenting the lack of retention of plasmids capable of transferring an antibiotic-resistant gene. Moreover, there was little genetic mutation between the first and 25th generations of B. bifidum BGN4. Tetracycline-resistant genes are prevalent among B. longum strains; B. longum BORI has a tet(W) gene on its chromosome DNA and has also shown resistance to tetracycline. However, this research shows that its tetracycline resistance was not transferred via conjugation with L. fermentum AGBG1, the latter of which is highly sensitive to tetracycline. These findings support the continuous use of B. bifidum BGN4 and B. longum BORI as probiotics, both of which have been reported as safe by several clinical studies, and have been used in food supplements for many years. View Full-Text
Keywords: probiotics; safety; antibiotics resistance; functional foods; nutraceuticals probiotics; safety; antibiotics resistance; functional foods; nutraceuticals
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

Kim, M.J.; Ku, S.; Kim, S.Y.; Lee, H.H.; Jin, H.; Kang, S.; Li, R.; Johnston, T.V.; Park, M.S.; Ji, G.E. Safety Evaluations of Bifidobacterium bifidum BGN4 and Bifidobacterium longum BORI. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19, 1422.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

Search more from Scilit
Back to TopTop