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Members of the Lactobacillus Genus Complex (LGC) as Opportunistic Pathogens: A Review

1
Diagnostica Specialistica, Sezione di Isernia, Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale dell’Abruzzo e del Molise “G. Caporale”, C.da Breccelle Snc, 86170 Isernia, Italy
2
Medicine and Health Science Department “V. Tiberio”, University of Molise, Via de Santis, 86100 Campobasso, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Microorganisms 2019, 7(5), 126; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms7050126
Received: 15 April 2019 / Revised: 4 May 2019 / Accepted: 8 May 2019 / Published: 10 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Safety Aspects of Lactic Acid Bacteria)
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PDF [317 KB, uploaded 22 May 2019]

Abstract

Microorganisms belonging to the Lactobacillus genus complex (LGC) are naturally associated or deliberately added to fermented food products and are widely used as probiotic food supplements. Moreover, these bacteria normally colonize the mouth, gastrointestinal (GI) tract, and female genitourinary tract of humans. They exert multiple beneficial effects and are regarded as safe microorganisms. However, infections caused by lactobacilli, mainly endocarditis, bacteremia, and pleuropneumonia, occasionally occur. The relevance of Lactobacillus spp. and other members of the LGC as opportunistic pathogens in humans and related risk factors and predisposing conditions are illustrated in this review article with more emphasis on the species L. rhamnosus that has been more often involved in infection cases. The methods used to identify this species in clinical samples, to distinguish strains and to evaluate traits that can be associated to pathogenicity, as well as future perspectives for improving the identification of potentially pathogenic strains, are outlined. View Full-Text
Keywords: Lactobacillus species; opportunistic pathogens; infections; risk factors; predisposing factors; virulence Lactobacillus species; opportunistic pathogens; infections; risk factors; predisposing factors; virulence
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Rossi, F.; Amadoro, C.; Colavita, G. Members of the Lactobacillus Genus Complex (LGC) as Opportunistic Pathogens: A Review. Microorganisms 2019, 7, 126.

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