Functional Characterization of Bifidobacteria of Human Origin: A Case Study by the Students of Food Science and Technology of the University of Foggia (Southern Italy)


The aim of this paper was to study the potential technological and probiotic properties of bifidobacteria isolated from human feces. Bifidobacteria, naturally present in the dominant colonic microbiota, represent up to 25% of the cultivable faecal bacteria in adults and 80% in infants. Bifidobacteria have been shown to adhere and colonize in high numbers different types of cultured intestinal epithelial cells; moreover some authors reported that some strains are able to stabilize the intestinal microbiota during and after antibiotic therapy, modulate the immune system, protecting against chemically induced intestinal inflammation and reducing symptoms of colitis. Eight isolates of bifidobacteria were studied to assess their technological and probiotic traits; the technological characterization relied on the assessment of enzymatic activities (proteolytic and lipolytic activity), growth under various conditions (pH, temperature and addition of salt), acidifying ability and metabolism (arginine deamination, esculin, esculin hydrolysis and citrate metabolism). The study of the probiotic characteristics focused on the evaluation of the survival at low pH and with bile salts added, antibiotic resistance, and hydrophobic properties. As a result of this process, two promising strains were selected for further studies.

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Ciuffreda, E. , Veronica, A. , Cifelli, A. , Foti, R. , Forte, R. , Graziani, F. , Longo, A. , Longo, A. , Maglia, V. , Ricciardi, E. , Sabatino, A. , Tomaiuolo, A. , Corbo, M. , Sinigaglia, M. and Bevilacqua, A. (2014) Functional Characterization of Bifidobacteria of Human Origin: A Case Study by the Students of Food Science and Technology of the University of Foggia (Southern Italy). Food and Nutrition Sciences, 5, 1153-1161. doi: 10.4236/fns.2014.513125.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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