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Special Issue "Probiotics for Next Generations"

A special issue of Microorganisms (ISSN 2076-2607). This special issue belongs to the section "Food Microbiology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 January 2022.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Haruki Kitazawa
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
International Education and Research Center for Food and Agricultural Immunology (CFAI), Graduate School of Agricultural Science, Tohoku University, Aobaku, Sendai 981-8555, Japan
Interests: probiotics; immunobiotics; food immunology; feed immunology; mucosal immunology; inflammation
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Julio Villena
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Laboratory of Immunobiotechnology, Reference Centre for Lactobacilli (CERELA-CONICET), Chacabuco 145, CP400, San Miguel de Tucuman, Tucuman, Argentina
Interests: lactic acid bacteria; mucosal immune system; antiviral immunity; pattern recognition receptors; probiotics; immunobiotics; functional genomics

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Classically, the science of microbiology has focused its efforts on the in-depth study of pathogenic microorganisms that pose a health hazard to humankind or animals. However, advances in microbiology and in the disciplines that support it—such as immunology, molecular biology, and genomics—have allowed for the discovery and study of a group of microorganisms that are key actors in the maintenance of health and wellbeing of men and animals. Multidisciplinary in-depth research has provided the scientific basis for the use of these beneficial microbes for the prevention of infections, cancer development, or in the treatment of inflammatory diseases. Most of the beneficial microorganisms currently studied and used to promote health belong to the genera Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, and have been isolated mainly from dairy products or intestinal microbiota. However, in recent years, new potentially beneficial microbes have begun to emerge because of our better understanding of the composition and function of man and animal microbiota and the revaluation of autochthonous food and feed sources found only in some regions of the world. In this sense, new strains of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium coming from unique environments as well as microorganisms of other genera isolated from the dominant members of the microbiota from different mucosal and non-mucosal tissues now appear as beneficial microbe candidates. These microorganisms, with new or improved functional and biotechnological properties, could be used for the development of probiotic products for the coming generations.

We invite you to submit original research papers to this Special Issue “Probiotics for the Next Generation” that will address the isolation of potential new beneficial microorganisms from autochthonous food and feed sources or from members of mucosal and non-mucosal tissues from men and animals, the study of their functional and biotechnological properties, and the evaluation of their cellular and molecular interactions with the host.

Dr. Haruki Kitazawa
Dr. Julio Villena
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Microorganisms is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • probiotics
  • microbiota
  • autochthonous foods and feeds
  • beneficial microbes

Published Papers (18 papers)

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Research

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Article
Characterization of Weissella viridescens UCO-SMC3 as a Potential Probiotic for the Skin: Its Beneficial Role in the Pathogenesis of Acne Vulgaris
Microorganisms 2021, 9(7), 1486; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms9071486 - 13 Jul 2021
Viewed by 690
Abstract
Previously, we isolated lactic acid bacteria from the slime of the garden snail Helix aspersa Müller and selected Weissella viridescens UCO-SMC3 because of its ability to inhibit in vitro the growth of the skin-associated pathogen Cutibacterium acnes. The present study aimed to [...] Read more.
Previously, we isolated lactic acid bacteria from the slime of the garden snail Helix aspersa Müller and selected Weissella viridescens UCO-SMC3 because of its ability to inhibit in vitro the growth of the skin-associated pathogen Cutibacterium acnes. The present study aimed to characterize the antimicrobial and immunomodulatory properties of W. viridescens UCO-SMC3 and to demonstrate its beneficial effect in the treatment of acne vulgaris. Our in vitro studies showed that the UCO-SMC3 strain resists adverse gastrointestinal conditions, inhibits the growth of clinical isolates of C. acnes, and reduces the adhesion of the pathogen to keratinocytes. Furthermore, in vivo studies in a mice model of C. acnes infection demonstrated that W. viridescens UCO-SMC3 beneficially modulates the immune response against the skin pathogen. Both the oral and topical administration of the UCO-SCM3 strain was capable of reducing the replication of C. acnes in skin lesions and beneficially modulating the inflammatory response. Of note, orally administered W. viridescens UCO-SMC3 induced more remarkable changes in the immune response to C. acnes than the topical treatment. However, the topical administration of W. viridescens UCO-SMC3 was more efficient than the oral treatment to reduce pathogen bacterial loads in the skin, and effects probably related to its ability to inhibit and antagonize the adhesion of C. acnes. Furthermore, a pilot study in acne volunteers demonstrated the capacity of a facial cream containing the UCO-SMC3 strain to reduce acne lesions. The results presented here encourage further mechanistic and clinical investigations to characterize W. viridescens UCO-SMC3 as a probiotic for acne vulgaris treatment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Probiotics for Next Generations)
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Article
The Respiratory Commensal Bacterium Dolosigranulum pigrum 040417 Improves the Innate Immune Response to Streptococcus pneumoniae
Microorganisms 2021, 9(6), 1324; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms9061324 - 18 Jun 2021
Viewed by 631
Abstract
Previously, we demonstrated that the nasal administration of Dolosigranulum pigrum 040417 differentially modulated the respiratory innate immune response triggered by the activation of Toll-like receptor 2 in infant mice. In this work, we aimed to evaluate the beneficial effects of D. pigrum 040417 [...] Read more.
Previously, we demonstrated that the nasal administration of Dolosigranulum pigrum 040417 differentially modulated the respiratory innate immune response triggered by the activation of Toll-like receptor 2 in infant mice. In this work, we aimed to evaluate the beneficial effects of D. pigrum 040417 in the context of Streptococcus pneumoniae infection and characterize the role of alveolar macrophages (AMs) in the immunomodulatory properties of this respiratory commensal bacterium. The nasal administration of D. pigrum 040417 to infant mice significantly increased their resistance to pneumococcal infection, differentially modulated respiratory cytokines production, and reduced lung injuries. These effects were associated to the ability of the 040417 strain to modulate AMs function. Depletion of AMs significantly reduced the capacity of the 040417 strain to improve both the reduction of pathogen loads and the protection against lung tissue damage. We also demonstrated that the immunomodulatory properties of D. pigrum are strain-specific, as D. pigrum 030918 was not able to modulate respiratory immunity or to increase the resistance of mice to an S. pneumoniae infection. These findings enhanced our knowledge regarding the immunological mechanisms involved in modulation of respiratory immunity induced by beneficial respiratory commensal bacteria and suggested that particular strains could be used as next-generation probiotics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Probiotics for Next Generations)
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Communication
Exogenous Polyamines Influence In Vitro Microbial Adhesion to Human Mucus According to the Age of Mucus Donor
Microorganisms 2021, 9(6), 1239; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms9061239 - 07 Jun 2021
Viewed by 844
Abstract
Adhesion to intestinal mucus is the first step for microbiota colonization in early life. Polyamines are polycations with important physiological functions in both procaryotic and eucaryotic cells. However, their role in intestinal mucus adhesion is not known. The objective of the present study [...] Read more.
Adhesion to intestinal mucus is the first step for microbiota colonization in early life. Polyamines are polycations with important physiological functions in both procaryotic and eucaryotic cells. However, their role in intestinal mucus adhesion is not known. The objective of the present study was to evaluate whether exogenous polyamines (putrescine, spermidine, spermine, and their combination) would alter the adhesive properties of Lacticaseibacillus rhamnosus GG (LGG), Bifidobacterium animalis subs. lactis Bb12, Cronobacter sakazakii, and Escherichia coli. Human intestinal mucus was isolated from healthy infants (0–6-month-old and 6–12-month-old) and healthy adults (25–52 years old). Spermidine significantly increased Bb12 adhesion (p < 0.05) in the mucus of infants (0–6 months) but reduced the adhesion of LGG in adult mucus (p < 0.05) with no significant effect in any of the infant groups. Spermine was more effective than polyamine combinations in reducing C. sakazakii (p < 0.05) adhesion in early infant mucus (0–6 months). The adhesion ability of E. coli remained unaffected by exogenous polyamines at any age in the concentrations tested. Our data suggest that polyamines may modulate the bacterial adhesion to mucus depending on the bacterial strain and depending at what age the mucus has been generated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Probiotics for Next Generations)
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Article
Probiotic Potential and Cholesterol-Lowering Capabilities of Bacterial Strains Isolated from Pericarpium Citri Reticulatae ‘Chachiensis’
Microorganisms 2021, 9(6), 1224; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms9061224 - 04 Jun 2021
Viewed by 730
Abstract
Pericarpium Citri Reticulatae ‘Chachiensis’ (PCR-Chachiensis), the pericarps of Citri Reticulatae Blanco cv. Chachiensis, is a food condiment and traditional medicine in southeast and eastern Asia. Its rich and various bacterial community awaits exploration. The present study is the first report on probiotic screening [...] Read more.
Pericarpium Citri Reticulatae ‘Chachiensis’ (PCR-Chachiensis), the pericarps of Citri Reticulatae Blanco cv. Chachiensis, is a food condiment and traditional medicine in southeast and eastern Asia. Its rich and various bacterial community awaits exploration. The present study is the first report on probiotic screening and characterization of bacteria from PCR-Chachiensis. Based on 64 culturable bacterial isolates, 8 strains were screened out to have great survival in the simulated gastrointestinal stressful condition, being nonhemolytic and without biogenic amine formation. They were identified by 16S rRNA gene sequencing as two Bacillus, three Lactobacillus, and three strains from Bacillales. Their probiotic properties, cholesterol-lowering potential and carbohydrate utilization capability were further investigated. Though these eight strains all displayed distinct cholesterol removal potential, Bacillus licheniformis N17-02 showed both remarkable cholesterol removal capability and presence of bile salt hydrolase gene, as well as possessing most of the desirable probiotic attributes. Thus, it could be a good probiotic candidate with hypocholesterolemic potential. Bacillus megaterium N17-12 displayed the widest carbohydrate utilization profile and the strongest antimicrobial activity. Hence, it was promising to be used as a probiotic in a host and as a fermentation starter in fermented food or feed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Probiotics for Next Generations)
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Article
Antimicrobial and Antibiofilm Activities of Weissella cibaria against Pathogens of Upper Respiratory Tract Infections
Microorganisms 2021, 9(6), 1181; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms9061181 - 30 May 2021
Viewed by 948
Abstract
Recently discovered preventive effects of probiotics on oral health have attracted interest to their use for the prevention and treatment of various diseases. This study aimed to evaluate the antimicrobial and antibiofilm properties of Weissella cibaria against Streptococcus pyogenes, Staphylococcus aureus, [...] Read more.
Recently discovered preventive effects of probiotics on oral health have attracted interest to their use for the prevention and treatment of various diseases. This study aimed to evaluate the antimicrobial and antibiofilm properties of Weissella cibaria against Streptococcus pyogenes, Staphylococcus aureus, S. pneumoniae, and Moraxella catarrhalis, the major pathogens of upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs). The antimicrobial activities of W. cibaria were compared with those of other oral probiotics using a competitive inhibition assay and the determination of the minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs). In addition, a time-kill assay, spectrophotometry, and confocal laser scanning microscopy were used to confirm the antimicrobial and antibiofilm abilities of W. cibaria CMU (oraCMU) and CMS1 (oraCMS1). Both live cells and cell-free supernatants of all tested probiotics, except Streptococcus salivarius, showed excellent antimicrobial activities. All target pathogens were killed within 4 to 24 h at twice the MIC of oraCMU and oraCMS1, which showed the highest antimicrobial activities against M. catarrhalis. The antimicrobial substances that affected different target pathogens were different. Both oraCMU and oraCMS1 showed excellent abilities to inhibit biofilm formation and remove preformed biofilms. Our results suggest that the W. cibaria probiotics offer new possibilities for the prevention and treatment of bacterial URTIs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Probiotics for Next Generations)
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Article
Antioxidant and Anti-Inflammatory Properties of Probiotic Candidate Strains Isolated during Fermentation of Agave (Agave angustifolia Haw)
Microorganisms 2021, 9(5), 1063; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms9051063 - 14 May 2021
Viewed by 727
Abstract
Agave species are a source of diverse products for human use, such as food, fiber, and beverages, which include mezcal, a distilled beverage produced by spontaneous fermentation. Agave is an excellent source of high amounts of sugars, minerals, and phenolic compounds, which favor [...] Read more.
Agave species are a source of diverse products for human use, such as food, fiber, and beverages, which include mezcal, a distilled beverage produced by spontaneous fermentation. Agave is an excellent source of high amounts of sugars, minerals, and phenolic compounds, which favor the growth of lactic acid bacteria (LAB) and yeast communities. In this work, 20 promising LAB strains with probiotic characteristics were isolated from the agave fermentation stage in mezcal production. The strains belonged to Lactobacillus plantarum (15), Lactobacillus rhamnosus (2), Enterococcus faecium (2), and Lactococcus lactis (1). These isolates were characterized for their resistance under gastrointestinal conditions, such as lysozyme, acid pH, and bile salts. In addition, the adherence of these LABs to human intestinal epithelial cells (Caco-2 and HT-29 cells) was tested in vitro and their antioxidant and immunomodulatory profile was determined using cellular models. Lactobacillus rhamnosus LM07 and Lactobacillus plantarum LM17 and LM19 strains were selected for their antioxidant properties, and their capacities in an oxidative stress model in intestinal epithelial cells IECs (Caco-2 and HT-29 cells) in the presence of hydrogen peroxide were evaluated. Interestingly, Lactobacillus rhamnosus LM07 and Lactobacillus plantarum LM17 and LM19 strains showed anti-inflammatory properties in TNF-α-stimulated HT-29 cells. Subsequently, bacterial strains exhibiting antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties were tested in vivo in a mouse model with dinitrobenzene sulfonic acid (DNBS)-induced chronic colitis. Weight loss, intestinal permeability, and cytokine profiles were measured in mice as indicators of inflammation. One of the selected strains, Lactobacillus plantarum LM17, improved the health of the mice, as observed by reduced weight loss, and significantly decreased intestinal permeability. Altogether, our results demonstrate the potential of LAB (and lactobacilli in particular) isolated from the agave fermentation stage in mezcal production. Lactobacillus rhamnosus LM07 and Lactobacillus plantarum LM17 strains represent potential candidates for developing new probiotic supplements to treat inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Probiotics for Next Generations)
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Article
Immunobiotic Feed Developed with Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. delbrueckii TUA4408L and the Soymilk By-Product Okara Improves Health and Growth Performance in Pigs
Microorganisms 2021, 9(5), 921; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms9050921 - 25 Apr 2021
Viewed by 908
Abstract
Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. delbrueckii TUA4408L is able to differentially modulate the innate immune response of porcine intestinal epithelial cells triggered by TLR4 activation. This strain also has a remarkable ability to grow on plant substrates. These two immunological and biotechnological characteristics prompted us [...] Read more.
Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. delbrueckii TUA4408L is able to differentially modulate the innate immune response of porcine intestinal epithelial cells triggered by TLR4 activation. This strain also has a remarkable ability to grow on plant substrates. These two immunological and biotechnological characteristics prompted us to evaluate whether the soymilk by-product okara fermented with the TUA4408L strain can serve as an immunobiotic feed with the ability to beneficially modulate the intestinal immunity of piglets after weaning to improve their productivity. Our in vivo studies demonstrated that the administration of immunobiotic TUA4408L-fermented okara feed significantly increased piglet growth performance and meat quality. These positive effects were associated with the ability of the TUA4408L-fermented okara feed to beneficially modulate both intestinal microbiota and immunity in pigs. The immunobiotic feed improved the abundance of the beneficial bacteria Lactobacillus and Lactococcus in the gut of pigs, reduced blood markers of inflammation, and differentially regulated the expression of inflammatory and regulatory cytokines in the intestinal mucosa. These findings indicate that the immunobiotic TUA4408L-fermented okara feed could be an economical and environmentally friendly option to improve the growth performance and immune health of pigs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Probiotics for Next Generations)
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Article
The Effects of Dietary Supplementation of Lactococcus lactis Strain Plasma on Skin Microbiome and Skin Conditions in Healthy Subjects—A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial
Microorganisms 2021, 9(3), 563; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms9030563 - 09 Mar 2021
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Abstract
(1) Background: Lactococcus lactis strain Plasma (LC-Plasma) is a unique strain which directly activates plasmacytoid dendritic cells, resulting in the prevention against broad spectrum of viral infection. Additionally, we found that LC-Plasma intake stimulated skin immunity and prevents Staphylococcus aureus epicutaneous infection. The [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Lactococcus lactis strain Plasma (LC-Plasma) is a unique strain which directly activates plasmacytoid dendritic cells, resulting in the prevention against broad spectrum of viral infection. Additionally, we found that LC-Plasma intake stimulated skin immunity and prevents Staphylococcus aureus epicutaneous infection. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of LC-Plasma dietary supplementation on skin microbiome, gene expression in the skin, and skin conditions in healthy subjects. (2) Method: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group trial was conducted. Seventy healthy volunteers were enrolled and assigned into two groups receiving either placebo or LC-Plasma capsules (approximately 1 × 1011 cells/day) for 8 weeks. The skin microbiome was analyzed by NGS and qPCR. Gene expression was analyzed by qPCR and skin conditions were diagnosed by dermatologists before and after intervention. (3) Result: LC-Plasma supplementation prevented the decrease of Staphylococcus epidermidis and Staphylococcus pasteuri and overgrowth of Propionibacterium acnes. In addition, LC-Plasma supplementation suggested to increase the expression of antimicrobial peptide genes but not tight junction genes. Furthermore, the clinical scores of skin conditions were ameliorated by LC-Plasma supplementation. (4) Conclusions: Our findings provided the insights that the dietary supplementation of LC-Plasma might have stabilizing effects on seasonal change of skin microbiome and skin conditions in healthy subjects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Probiotics for Next Generations)
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Article
Effects of Inoculants Producing Antifungal and Carboxylesterase Activities on Corn Silage and Its Shelf Life against Mold Contamination at Feed-Out Phase
Microorganisms 2021, 9(3), 558; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms9030558 - 08 Mar 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 670
Abstract
The present study aimed to investigate effects of dual-purpose inoculants (antifungal and carboxylesterase activities) not only on corn silage quality, but also its shelf life against mold contamination at feed-out phase. Corn forage was ensiled for 252 d with different inoculants of the [...] Read more.
The present study aimed to investigate effects of dual-purpose inoculants (antifungal and carboxylesterase activities) not only on corn silage quality, but also its shelf life against mold contamination at feed-out phase. Corn forage was ensiled for 252 d with different inoculants of the following: control (CON), Lactobacillus brevis 5M2 (5M), Lactobacillus buchneri 6M1 (6M), and mixture of 5M and 6M at 1:1 ratio (MIX). After ensiling, corn silage was contaminated with Fusarium graminearum. Silages applied inoculants had positive effects by increased organic acid and lactic acid bacteria, and decreased undesirable microbes. At feed-out phase, contamination of F. graminearum into corn silage had a negative effect on aerobic stability caused by increased growth of undesirable microbes. However, silages applied inoculants had positive effects by decreased undesirable microbes and extended lactic acid bacteria and aerobic stability. Generally, MIX silage presented better effects on organic acid production, rumen degradation, inhibition of undesirable microbes, and aerobic stability than 5M silage and 6M silage. The present study concluded that application of inoculants into corn silage had positive effects on fermentation characteristics and extended shelf life against mold contamination at feed-out phase. A mixed inoculant appeared to have better effects of antifungal and carboxylesterase than a single inoculant. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Probiotics for Next Generations)
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Article
Chemoprevention of DMH-Induced Early Colon Carcinogenesis in Male BALB/c Mice by Administration of Lactobacillus Paracasei DTA81
Microorganisms 2020, 8(12), 1994; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms8121994 - 14 Dec 2020
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Abstract
We evaluated the effects of the probiotic candidate Lactobacillus paracasei DTA81 (DTA81) on liver oxidative stress, colonic cytokine profile, and gut microbiota in mice with induced early colon carcinogenesis (CRC) by 1,2-dimethylhydrazine (DMH). Animals were divided into four different groups (n = [...] Read more.
We evaluated the effects of the probiotic candidate Lactobacillus paracasei DTA81 (DTA81) on liver oxidative stress, colonic cytokine profile, and gut microbiota in mice with induced early colon carcinogenesis (CRC) by 1,2-dimethylhydrazine (DMH). Animals were divided into four different groups (n = 6) and received the following treatments via orogastric gavage for 8 weeks: Group skim milk (GSM): 300 mg/freeze-dried skim milk/day; Group L. paracasei DTA81 (DTA81): 3 × 109 colony-forming units (CFU)/day; Group Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (LGG): 3 × 109 CFU/day; Group non-intervention (GNI): 0.1 mL/water/day. A single DMH dose (20 mg/kg body weight) was injected intraperitoneally (i.p), weekly, in all animals (seven applications in total). At the end of the experimental period, DTA81 intake reduced hepatic levels of carbonyl protein and malondialdehyde (MDA). Moreover, low levels of the pro-inflammatory cytokines Interleukin-6 (IL-6) and IL-17, as well as a reduced expression level of the proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) were observed in colonic homogenates. Lastly, animals who received DTA81 showed an intestinal enrichment of the genus Ruminiclostridium and increased concentrations of caecal acetic acid and total short-chain fatty acids. In conclusion, this study indicates that the administration of the probiotic candidate DTA81 can have beneficial effects on the initial stages of CRC development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Probiotics for Next Generations)
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Article
Selection of Immunobiotic Ligilactobacillus salivarius Strains from the Intestinal Tract of Wakame-Fed Pigs: Functional and Genomic Studies
Microorganisms 2020, 8(11), 1659; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms8111659 - 26 Oct 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1318
Abstract
In this article, Ligilactobacillus salivarius FFIG strains, isolated from the intestinal tract of wakame-fed pigs, are characterized according to their potential probiotic properties. Strains were evaluated by studying their interaction with porcine intestinal epithelial (PIE) cells in terms of their ability to regulate [...] Read more.
In this article, Ligilactobacillus salivarius FFIG strains, isolated from the intestinal tract of wakame-fed pigs, are characterized according to their potential probiotic properties. Strains were evaluated by studying their interaction with porcine intestinal epithelial (PIE) cells in terms of their ability to regulate toll-like receptor (TLR)-3- or TLR4-mediated innate immune responses, as well as by assessing their adhesion capabilities to porcine epithelial cells and mucins. These functional studies were complemented with comparative genomic evaluations using the complete genome sequences of porcine L. salivarius strains selected from subgroups that demonstrated different “immune” and “adhesion” phenotypes. We found that their immunomodulatory and adhesion capabilities are a strain-dependent characteristic. Our analysis indicated that the differential immunomodulatory and adhesive activities of FFIG strains would be dependent on the combination of several surface structures acting simultaneously, which include peptidoglycan, exopolysaccharides, lipoteichoic acid, and adhesins. Of note, our results indicate that there is no correlation between the immunomodulatory capacity of the strains with their adhesion ability to mucins and epithelial cells. Therefore, in the selection of strains destined to colonize the intestinal mucosa and modulate the immunity of the host, both properties must be adequately evaluated. Interestingly, we showed that L. salivarius FFIG58 functionally modulated the innate immune responses triggered by TLR3 and TLR4 activation in PIE cells and efficiently adhered to these cells. Moreover, the FFIG58 strain was capable of reducing rotavirus replication in PIE cells. Therefore, L. salivarius FFIG58 is a good candidate for further in vivo studying the protective effect of lactobacilli against intestinal infections in the porcine host. We also reported and analyzed, for the first time, the complete genome of several L. salivarius strains that were isolated from the intestine of pigs after the selective pressure of feeding the animals with wakame. Further genomic analysis could be of value to reveal the metabolic characteristics and potential of the FFIG strains in general and of the FFIG58 strain, in particular, relating to wakame by-products assimilation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Probiotics for Next Generations)
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Article
Beneficial Effects of Newly Isolated Akkermansia muciniphila Strains from the Human Gut on Obesity and Metabolic Dysregulation
Microorganisms 2020, 8(9), 1413; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms8091413 - 14 Sep 2020
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1144
Abstract
The identification of new probiotics with anti-obesity properties has attracted considerable interest. In the present study, the anti-obesity activities of Akkermansia muciniphila (A. muciniphila) strains isolated from human stool samples and their relationship with the gut microbiota were evaluated using a [...] Read more.
The identification of new probiotics with anti-obesity properties has attracted considerable interest. In the present study, the anti-obesity activities of Akkermansia muciniphila (A. muciniphila) strains isolated from human stool samples and their relationship with the gut microbiota were evaluated using a high fat-diet (HFD)-fed mice model. Three strains of A. muciniphila were chosen from 27 isolates selected based on their anti-lipogenic activity in 3T3-L1 cells. The anti-lipogenic, anti-adipogenic and anti-obesity properties of these three strains were evaluated further in HFD-induced obese mice. The animals were administered these strains six times per week for 12 weeks. The treatment improved the HFD-induced metabolic disorders in mice in terms of the prevention of body weight gain, caloric intake and reduction in the weights of the major adipose tissues and total fat. In addition, it improved glucose homeostasis and insulin sensitivity. These effects were also associated with the inhibition of low-grade intestinal inflammation and restoration of damaged gut integrity, prevention of liver steatosis and improvement of hepatic function. These results revealed a difference in the distribution pattern of the gut microbial communities between groups. Therefore, the gut microbial population modulation, at least in part, might contribute to the beneficial impact of the selected A. muciniphila strains against metabolic disorders. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Probiotics for Next Generations)
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Article
The Ability of Respiratory Commensal Bacteria to Beneficially Modulate the Lung Innate Immune Response Is a Strain Dependent Characteristic
Microorganisms 2020, 8(5), 727; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms8050727 - 13 May 2020
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1135
Abstract
We investigated whether the ability of commensal respiratory bacteria to modulate the innate immune response against bacterial and viral pathogens was a shared or strain-specific characteristic. Bacterial strains belonging to the Corynebacterium pseudodiphtheriticum and Dolosigranulum pigrum species were compared by studying their influence [...] Read more.
We investigated whether the ability of commensal respiratory bacteria to modulate the innate immune response against bacterial and viral pathogens was a shared or strain-specific characteristic. Bacterial strains belonging to the Corynebacterium pseudodiphtheriticum and Dolosigranulum pigrum species were compared by studying their influence in the Toll-like receptor (TLR)-2- and TLR3-triggered immune responses in the respiratory tract, as well as in the resistance to Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) and Streptococcus pneumoniae infections. We demonstrated that nasally administered C. pseudodiphteriticum 090104 or D. pigrum 040417 were able to modulate respiratory immunity and increase the resistance against pathogens, while other strains of the same species did not influence the respiratory immune responses, demonstrating a clear strain-dependent immunomodulatory effect of respiratory commensal bacteria. We also reported here that bacterium-like particles (BLP) and cell walls derived from immunomodulatory respiratory commensal bacteria are an interesting alternative for the modulation of the respiratory immune system. Our study is a step forward in the positioning of certain strains of respiratory commensal bacteria as next-generation probiotics for the respiratory tract. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Probiotics for Next Generations)
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Article
Assessment of the Immunomodulatory Properties of the Probiotic Strain Lactobacillus paracasei K5 In Vitro and In Vivo
Microorganisms 2020, 8(5), 709; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms8050709 - 11 May 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1396
Abstract
Lactobacillus paracasei K5 is a lactic acid bacteria (LAB) strain that has been isolated from dairy products. Previous studies have established its probiotic potential in a series of in vitro tests, including molecular characterization, safety profiling, and tolerability of the gastrointestinal tract conditions. [...] Read more.
Lactobacillus paracasei K5 is a lactic acid bacteria (LAB) strain that has been isolated from dairy products. Previous studies have established its probiotic potential in a series of in vitro tests, including molecular characterization, safety profiling, and tolerability of the gastrointestinal tract conditions. To characterize its beneficial actions on the host, we have shown previously that L. paracasei K5 adheres to Caco-2 cells and exerts anti-proliferative effects through the induction of apoptosis. In the present study, we focused on the immunomodulatory potential of this strain. We employed the dorsal-air-pouch mouse model of inflammation and recorded an eight-fold increase in the recruitment of immune cells in mice treated with the probiotic strain, compared to the control group. Analysis of the exudates revealed significant changes in the expression of pro-inflammatory mediators on site. Treatment of Caco-2 cells with L. paracasei K5 induced significant upregulation of cytokines interleukin-1α (IL-1α), ΙL-1β, IL-6, tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), the chemokine C-X-C motif ligand 2 (CXCL2), and the inflammation markers soluble intercellular adhesion molecule (sICAM) and metallopeptidase inhibitor-1 (TIMP-1). Transient induction of the Toll-like receptors (TLRs) 2, 4, 6, and 9 expression levels was recorded by real-time PCR analysis. These results highlight the immunomodulatory potential of this strain and further support its probiotic character. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Probiotics for Next Generations)
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Review

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Review
Probiotics in the Therapeutic Arsenal of Dermatologists
Microorganisms 2021, 9(7), 1513; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms9071513 - 15 Jul 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 902
Abstract
During the last years, numerous studies have described the presence of significant gut and skin dysbiosis in some dermatological diseases such as atopic dermatitis, psoriasis and acne, among others. How the skin and the gut microbiome play a role in those skin conditions [...] Read more.
During the last years, numerous studies have described the presence of significant gut and skin dysbiosis in some dermatological diseases such as atopic dermatitis, psoriasis and acne, among others. How the skin and the gut microbiome play a role in those skin conditions is something to explore, which will shed light on understanding the origin and implication of the microbiota in their pathophysiology. Several studies provide evidence for the influence of probiotic treatments that target the modulation of the skin and intestinal microbiota in those disorders and a positive influence of orally administered probiotics on the course of these dermatosis. The pathologies in which the therapeutic role of the probiotic has been explored are mainly atopic dermatitis, psoriasis and acne. This article aims to review these three dermatological diseases, their relationship with the human microbiota and specially the effect of probiotics usage. In addition, the pathophysiology in each of them and the hypotheses about possible mechanisms of the action of probiotics will be described. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Probiotics for Next Generations)
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Review
Supranational Assessment of the Quality of Probiotics: Collaborative Initiative between Independent Accredited Testing Laboratories
Microorganisms 2021, 9(7), 1456; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms9071456 - 07 Jul 2021
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Abstract
Recent acquisitions about the role of the microbiota in the functioning of the human body make it possible to envisage an increasing use of beneficial microbes, and more particularly of probiotics as well as their metabolites, as nutritional supplements. National and EU authorities [...] Read more.
Recent acquisitions about the role of the microbiota in the functioning of the human body make it possible to envisage an increasing use of beneficial microbes, and more particularly of probiotics as well as their metabolites, as nutritional supplements. National and EU authorities are engaged in assuring the safety and quality of food supplements and in defining rules to assess and communicate their efficacy on human health. The quality of probiotics, intended as strains’ identification, viability, and stability over time, is a crucial factor of credibility with consumers and health professionals. Analytical technologies for the quality control of probiotics must also be adapted to new preparations, such as those including new multistrains complex combinations. Accredited laboratories face this relevant challenge on a daily basis. Through its close collaboration with the laboratory commissioned to produce the specifications for its ESLP quality label (identification and quantitative analyses) together with its scientific committee, the ESLP has been focusing on this issue for 10 years. Recently, as part of the internationalization of the ESLP quality label, a new and unique initiative in Europe for the evaluation of the quality of probiotic preparations has been carried out. The collaboration between two accredited laboratories in Belgium and in Italy represented a concrete example of supranational collaboration in the assessment of the quality of probiotic preparations. Results show that both laboratories are in line as expected in terms of performance. Common approaches to the qualitative assessment of probiotic preparations, especially for complex and composite recipes, in terms of number of strains and included substances, should be encouraged and promoted all over the EU. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Probiotics for Next Generations)
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Review
The Effect of Probiotics on Health Outcomes in the Elderly: A Systematic Review of Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Studies
Microorganisms 2021, 9(6), 1344; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms9061344 - 21 Jun 2021
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Abstract
Increasing evidence suggests that probiotic supplementation may be efficacious in counteracting age-related shifts in gut microbiota composition and diversity, thereby impacting health outcomes and promoting healthy aging. However, randomized controlled trials (RCTs) with probiotics in healthy older adults have utilized a wide variety [...] Read more.
Increasing evidence suggests that probiotic supplementation may be efficacious in counteracting age-related shifts in gut microbiota composition and diversity, thereby impacting health outcomes and promoting healthy aging. However, randomized controlled trials (RCTs) with probiotics in healthy older adults have utilized a wide variety of strains and focused on several different outcomes with conflicting results. Therefore, a systematic review was conducted to determine which outcomes have been investigated in randomized controlled trials with probiotic supplementation in healthy older adults and what has been the effect of these interventions. For inclusion, studies reporting on randomized controlled trials with probiotic and synbiotic supplements in healthy older adults (defined as minimum age of 60 years) were considered. Studies reporting clinical trials in specific patient groups or unhealthy participants were excluded. In addition to assessment of eligibility and data extraction, each study was examined for risk of bias and quality assessment was performed by two independent reviewers. Due to the heterogeneity of outcomes, strains, study design, duration, and methodology, we did not perform any meta-analyses and instead provided a narrative overview of the outcomes examined. Of 1997 potentially eligible publications, 17 studies were included in this review. The risk of bias was low, although several studies failed to adequately describe random sequence generation, allocation concealment, and blinding. The overall study quality was high; however, many studies did not include sample calculations, and the majority of studies had a small sample size. The main outcomes examined in the trials included microbiota composition, immune-related measurements, digestive health, general well-being, cognitive function, and lipid and other biomarkers. The most commonly assessed outcome with the most consistent effect was microbiota composition; all but one study with this outcome showed significant effects on gut microbiota composition in healthy older adults. Overall, probiotic supplementation had modest effects on markers of humoral immunity, immune cell population levels and activity, as well as the incidence and duration of the common cold and other infections with some conflicting results. Digestive health, general-well-being, cognitive function, and lipid and other biomarkers were investigated in a very small number of studies; therefore, the impact on these outcomes remains inconclusive. Probiotics appear to be efficacious in modifying gut microbiota composition in healthy older adults and have moderate effects on immune function. However, the effect of probiotic supplementation on other health outcomes remains inconclusive, highlighting the need for more well-designed, sufficiently-powered studies to investigate if and the mechanisms by which probiotics impact healthy aging. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Probiotics for Next Generations)
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Review
Lactiplantibacillus plantarum as a Potential Adjuvant and Delivery System for the Development of SARS-CoV-2 Oral Vaccines
Microorganisms 2021, 9(4), 683; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms9040683 - 26 Mar 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1092
Abstract
The most important characteristics regarding the mucosal infection and immune responses against the Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) as well as the current vaccines against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in development or use are revised to emphasize the opportunity for lactic acid [...] Read more.
The most important characteristics regarding the mucosal infection and immune responses against the Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) as well as the current vaccines against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in development or use are revised to emphasize the opportunity for lactic acid bacteria (LAB)-based vaccines to offer a valid alternative in the fight against this disease. In addition, this article revises the knowledge on: (a) the cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in the improvement of mucosal antiviral defenses by beneficial Lactiplantibacillus plantarum strains, (b) the systems for the expression of heterologous proteins in L. plantarum and (c) the successful expressions of viral antigens in L. plantarum that were capable of inducing protective immune responses in the gut and the respiratory tract after their oral administration. The ability of L. plantarum to express viral antigens, including the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 and its capacity to differentially modulate the innate and adaptive immune responses in both the intestinal and respiratory mucosa after its oral administration, indicates the potential of this LAB to be used in the development of a mucosal COVID-19 vaccine. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Probiotics for Next Generations)
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