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Potential Application of Apilactobacillus kunkeei for Human Use: Evaluation of Probiotic and Functional Properties

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Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Food Sciences (DiAAA), University of Molise, via De Sanctis snc, 86100 Campobasso, Italy
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Department of Medicine and Health Sciences “Vincenzo Tiberio”, University of Molise, via De Sanctis snc, 86100 Campobasso, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Foods 2020, 9(11), 1535; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9111535
Received: 6 October 2020 / Revised: 21 October 2020 / Accepted: 23 October 2020 / Published: 25 October 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microorganisms with Probiotic Properties)
Apilactobacillus kunkeei is an insect symbiont with documented beneficial effects on the health of honeybees. It belongs to fructophilic lactic acid bacteria (FLAB), a subgroup of lactic acid bacteria (LAB) notably recognized for their safe status. This fact, together with its recurrent isolation from hive products that are traditionally part of the human diet, suggests its possible safe use as human probiotic. Our data concerning three strains of A. kunkeei isolated from bee bread and honeybee gut highlighted several interesting features, such as the presence of beneficial enzymes (β-glucosidase, β-galactosidase and leucine arylamidase), the low antibiotic resistance, the ability to inhibit P. aeruginosa and, for one tested strain, E. faecalis, and an excellent viability in presence of high sugar concentrations, especially for one strain tested in sugar syrup stored at 4 °C for 30 d. This datum is particularly stimulating, since it demonstrates that selected strains of A. kunkeei can be used for the probiotication of fruit preparations, which are often used in the diet of hospitalized and immunocompromised patients. Finally, we tested for the first time the survival of strains belonging to the species A. kunkeei during simulated gastrointestinal transit, detecting a similar if not a better performance than that showed by Lacticaseibacillus rhamnosus GG, used as probiotic control in each trial. View Full-Text
Keywords: lactobacilli; fructophilic lactic acid bacteria; antibiotic susceptibility; antimicrobial activity; gastrointestinal transit; probiotication lactobacilli; fructophilic lactic acid bacteria; antibiotic susceptibility; antimicrobial activity; gastrointestinal transit; probiotication
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Vergalito, F.; Testa, B.; Cozzolino, A.; Letizia, F.; Succi, M.; Lombardi, S.J.; Tremonte, P.; Pannella, G.; Di Marco, R.; Sorrentino, E.; Coppola, R.; Iorizzo, M. Potential Application of Apilactobacillus kunkeei for Human Use: Evaluation of Probiotic and Functional Properties. Foods 2020, 9, 1535.

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