ABSTRACT: In the present study, lactic acid bacteria (LAB) from the cecum of chickens bred either under intensive (commercial broilers) or extensive (free-range) conditions were isolated, identified and some of their probiotic characteristics determined. The LAB identified by 16S-23S rRNA PCR-ARDRA were mainly of Lactobacillus species and to a lesser extent of Enterococcus spp. for all animals. Free-range chickens showed a higher presence of Lactobacillus acidophilus while Lactobacillus reuteri and Lactobacillus johnsonii were more frequently recovered from commercial broilers. Lactobacillus crispatus was found only in commercial broilers, Lactobacillus vaginalis and Lactobacillus agilis only in free-range chickens and Lactobacillus salivarius in both types. Enterococcus isolates from ceca of commercial broilers showed a higher resistance to antimicrobial drugs. Lactobacillus isolates from free-range chickens presented a higher frequency of in vitro antagonistic activity against selected pathogens than from commercial broilers. All LAB isolates had predominantly non-hydrophobic surfaces, but with variations depending on age of the chickens and breeding conditions. Animal breeding caused variation on composition, antimicrobial susceptibility, antagonistic activity and surface hydrophobicity of LAB from chicken cecum. LAB isolates from ceca of free-range chickens have potential as probiotic agents, which may be used in the future as replacing the use of antimicrobials as growth promoters.
Veterinary Microbiology 03/2007; 120(1-2):142-50. · 3.33 Impact Factor