[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In vitro gut modeling provides a useful platform for a fast and reproducible assessment of treatment-related changes. Currently, pig intestinal fermentation models are mainly batch models with important inherent limitations. In this study we developed a novel in vitro continuous fermentation model, mimicking the porcine proximal colon, which we validated during 54 days of fermentation. This model, based on our recent PolyFermS design, allows comparing different treatment effects on the same microbiota. It is composed of a first-stage inoculum reactor seeded with immobilized fecal swine microbiota and used to constantly inoculate (10% v/v) five second-stage reactors, with all reactors fed with fresh nutritive chyme medium and set to mimic the swine proximal colon. Reactor effluents were analyzed for metabolite concentrations and bacterial composition by HPLC and quantitative PCR, and microbial diversity was assessed by 454 pyrosequencing. The novel PolyFermS featured stable microbial composition, diversity and metabolite production, consistent with bacterial activity reported for swine proximal colon in vivo. The constant inoculation provided by the inoculum reactor generated reproducible microbial ecosystems in all second-stage reactors, allowing the simultaneous investigation and direct comparison of different treatments on the same porcine gut microbiota. Our data demonstrate the unique features of this novel PolyFermS design for the swine proximal colon. The model provides a tool for efficient, reproducible and cost-effective screening of environmental factors, such as dietary additives, on pig colonic fermentation.
PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(4):e94123. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A central issue in the application of probiotics as food additives is their fastidious production and their sensitivity to many environmental stresses. The importance of inducible cell-protective mechanisms triggered by application of sublethal stresses for survival under stress conditions has been demonstrated. Continuous cultures could be a suitable and more efficient method to test stress factors on one culture instead of several repeated batch cultures. In this study, the application of a two-stage continuous culture of Bifidobacterium longum NCC2705 was investigated. The first reactor was operated under fixed conditions at 37 °C and pH 6.0 and used to produce cells with controlled physiology, mimicking cells in the late exponential growth phase. Stress pretreatment combinations of pH (6.0, 5.0 and 4.0), temperature (37, 45 and 47 °C) and NaCl (0, 5 and 10%) were tested in the second reactor. Of all tested combinations, only those of pH 4.0 significantly decreased cell viability in the second reactor compared to control conditions (37 °C, pH 6.0, 0% NaCl) and, therefore, could not be considered as sublethal stresses. Pretreatments with 5 or 10% NaCl had a negative effect on cell viability after gastric lethal stress. A significant improvement in cell resistance to heat lethal stress (56 °C, 5 min) was observed for cells pretreated at 47 °C. In contrast, heat pretreatment negatively affected cell viability after freeze drying and osmotic lethal stresses. The two-stage continuous culture allowed for efficient screening of several stress pretreatments during the same experiment with up to four different conditions tested per day. Optimal sublethal stress conditions can also be applied for producing cells with traditional batch cultures.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In vitro gut fermentation modeling offers a useful platform for ecological studies of the intestinal microbiota. In this study we describe a novel Polyfermentor Intestinal Model (PolyFermS) designed to compare the effects of different treatments on the same complex gut microbiota. The model operated in conditions of the proximal colon is composed of a first reactor containing fecal microbiota immobilized in gel beads, and used to continuously inoculate a set of parallel second-stage reactors. The PolyFermS model was validated with three independent intestinal fermentations conducted for 38 days with immobilized human fecal microbiota obtained from three child donors. The microbial diversity of reactor effluents was compared to donor feces using the HITChip, a high-density phylogenetic microarray targeting small subunit rRNA sequences of over 1100 phylotypes of the human gastrointestinal tract. Furthermore, the metabolic response to a decrease of pH from 5.7 to 5.5, applied to balance the high fermentative activity in inoculum reactors, was studied. We observed a reproducible development of stable intestinal communities representing major taxonomic bacterial groups at ratios similar to these in feces of healthy donors, a high similarity of microbiota composition produced in second-stage reactors within a model, and a high time stability of microbiota composition and metabolic activity over 38 day culture. For all tested models, the pH-drop of 0.2 units in inoculum reactors enhanced butyrate production at the expense of acetate, but was accompanied by a donor-specific reorganization of the reactor community, suggesting a concerted metabolic adaptation and trigger of community-specific lactate or acetate cross-feeding pathways in response to varying pH. Our data showed that the PolyFermS model allows the stable cultivation of complex intestinal microbiota akin to the fecal donor and can be developed for the direct comparison of different experimental conditions in parallel reactors continuously inoculated with the exact same microbiota.
PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(10):e77772. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A central issue in the use of probiotics in food and food supplements is their sensitivity to many environmental stress factors. The resistance of probiotic cells to lethal stress can be improved by application of homologous or heterologous sub-lethal stress during culture. This screening procedure is generally performed using batch cultures. Continuous cultures could be a suitable and more efficient method to test different stress factors on one culture instead of repeating several batch cultures. However, before testing stresses using continuous cultures, the physiological stability of continuously produced cells over a considered time period must be first evaluated. A continuous culture of Bifidobacterium longum NCC2705 was maintained for 211 h at a dilution rate of 0.1 per h, mimicking a deceleration growth phase culture. Stable viable cell counts were measured over the culture period, decreasing only moderately from 8.8 to 8.6 log10 cfu/ml. A slight shift in metabolite production, characterized by increased lactate and decreased acetate, formate and ethanol concentrations was observed. Susceptibilities to antibiotics and stress conditions were stable (cefotaxim, ampicillin, ceftazidime) or moderately affected (simulated gastric juices, heat, bile salts, tetracycline, chloramphenicol, penicillin, vancomycin and neomycin) over culturing time. Comparison of gene transcription profiles between samples collected after 31 h of continuous culture and samples collected after 134 and 211 h revealed only limited changes in expression of 1.0 and 3.8% of total genes, respectively. Based on these results, we propose that continuous culture can be used to produce bacterial cells with stable physiological properties suitable for fast and efficient screening of sub-lethal stress conditions.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The effect of cell immobilization and continuous culture was studied on selected physiological and technological characteristics of Bifidobacterium longum NCC2705 cultivated for 20 days in a two stage continuous fermentation system. Continuous immobilized cell (IC) cultures with and without glucose limitation exhibited formation of macroscopic cell aggregates after 12 and 9 days, respectively. Auto-aggregation resulted in underestimation of viable cell counts by plate counts by more than 2 log units CFU/ml compared with qPCR method. Modifications of cell membrane composition might partially explain aggregate formation in IC cultures. Decreases in the ratio of unsaturated to saturated fatty acid content from 1.74 to 0.58 might also contribute to the enhanced tolerance of IC cells to porcine bile salts and aminoglycosidic antibiotics compared with free cells from batch cultures. The enhanced resistance against bile salts in combination with auto-aggregation may confer an advantage to probiotic bacteria produced by IC technology.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: An efficient screening method for selection of Bifidobacterium longum strains resistant to spray drying and storage was developed based on randomly amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) for identification of the best survivors in mixed strains bacterial preparations. Three different primers were used to generate RAPD profiles of 22 B. longum strains. All strains were distinguished according to their RAPD profiles except for the strain NCC2705 and its H(2)O(2) resistant derivative variant. The 22 strains were grouped in 3 batches of 7, 7 and 8 strains and subjected to spray drying and storage at 30 and 37 °C under anaerobic conditions. Batch survival rates after spray drying reached 17.1±4.4%. Strains showing the highest prevalence and/or resistance to storage at 37 °C were selected from individual batches for subsequent spray drying and storage testing. After 67 days of storage, NCC572 was identified as the dominant strain in powder. The stability of strain NCC572 was confirmed by performing single spray drying and storage tests. Out of 22 B. longum strains, a robust strain was identified by combining RAPD with a simultaneous screening test for survival under spray drying and storage. The method allowed a fast screening of B. longum strains in mixture for resistance to spray drying and storage compared to traditional screening procedures carried out with individual strains, in the same conditions. This approach could be applied to other stress conditions.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Viability of probiotic bacteria is traditionally assessed by plate counting which has several limitations, including underestimation of cells in aggregates or chains morphology. We describe a quantitative PCR (qPCR)-based method for an accurate enumeration of viable cells of Bifidobacterium longum NCC2705 exhibiting different morphologies by measuring the mRNA levels of cysB and purB, two constitutively expressed housekeeping genes. Three primer-sets targeting short fragments of 57-bp of cysS and purB and one 400-bp fragment of purB were used. Cell quantification of serially diluted samples showed a good correlation coefficient of R(2) 0.984 +/- 0.003 between plate counts and qRT-PCR for all tested primer sets. Loss of viable cells exposed to a lethal heat stress (56 degrees C, 10, 20 and 30 min) was estimated by qRT-PCR and plate counts. No significant difference was observed using qRT-PCR targeting the 400-bp fragment of purB compared to plate counts indicating that this fragment is a suitable marker of cell viability. In contrast, the use of the 57-bp fragments led to a significant overestimation of viable cell counts (18 +/- 3 and 7 +/- 2 fold for cysB and purB, respectively). Decay of the mRNA fragments was studied by treatment of growing cells with rifampicin prior qRT-PCR. The 400-bp fragment of purB was faster degraded than the 57-bp fragments of cysB and purB. The 400-bp fragment of purB was further used to enumerate viable cells in aggregate state. Cell counts were more than 2 log(10) higher using the qRT-PCR method compared to plate counts. Growing interest in probiotic characteristics of aggregating bacteria cells make this technique a valuable tool to accurately quantify viable probiotic bacteria exhibiting heterogeneous morphology.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Oxidative stress can severely compromise viability of bifidobacteria. Exposure of Bifidobacterium cells to oxygen causes accumulation of reactive oxygen species, mainly hydrogen peroxide, leading to cell death. In this study, we tested the suitability of continuous culture under increasing selective pressure combined with immobilized cell technology for the selection of hydrogen peroxide adapted Bifidobacterium cells. Cells of B. longum NCC2705 were immobilized in gellan-xanthan gum gel beads and used to continuously ferment MRS medium containing increasing concentration of H2O2 from 0 to 130 ppm.
At the beginning of the culture, high cell density of 10(13) CFU per litre of reactor was tested. The continuous culture gradually adapted to increasing H2O2 concentrations. However, after increasing the H2O2 concentration to 130 ppm the OD of the culture decreased to 0. Full wash out was prevented by the immobilization of the cells in gel matrix. Hence after stopping the stress, it was possible to re-grow the cells that survived the highest lethal dose of H2O2 and to select two adapted colonies (HPR1 and HPR2) after plating of the culture effluent. In contrast to HPR1, HPR2 showed stable characteristics over at least 70 generations and exhibited also higher tolerance to O2 than non adapted wild type cells. Preliminary characterization of HPR2 was carried out by global genome expression profile analysis. Two genes coding for a protein with unknown function and possessing trans-membrane domains and an ABC-type transporter protein were overexpressed in HPR2 cells compared to wild type cells.
Our study showed that continuous culture with cell immobilization is a valid approach for selecting cells adapted to hydrogen peroxide. Elucidation of H2O2 adaptation mechanisms in HPR2 could be helpful to develop oxygen resistant bifidobacteria.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Antagonistic phenomena between strains often occur in mixed cultures containing a bacteriocinogenic strain. A nisin Z producer (Lactococcus lactis ssp. lactis biovar. diacetylactis UL719) and 2 nisin-sensitive strains for acidification (Lactococcus lactis ssp. cremoris ATCC19257) and exopolysaccharide (EPS) production (Lactobacillus rhamnosus RW-9595M) were immobilized separately in gel beads and used to continuously preferment milk at different temperatures, with pH controlled at 6.0 by fresh milk addition. The process showed high volumetric productivity, with an increase from 8.0 to 12.5 L of prefermented milk per liter of reactor volume and hour as the temperature was increased from 27 to 35 degrees C. Lactococcus lactis ssp. lactis biovar. diacetylactis UL719 counts in prefermented and fermented (22-h batch fermentation) milks were stable during 3 wk of continuous fermentation (8.1 +/- 0.1 and 8.9 +/- 0.2 log cfu/mL, respectively). The L. lactis ssp. cremoris population (estimated with real-time quantitative PCR) decreased rapidly during the first week of continuous culture to approximately 4.5 log cfu/mL and remained constant afterward. Lactobacillus rhamnosus counts in prefermented and fermented milks significantly increased with prefermentation time, with no temperature effect. Nisin Z reached high titers in fermented milks (from 177 to 363 IU/mL), with EPS concentration in the range from 43 to 178 mg/L. Immobilization and continuous culture led to important physiological changes, with Lb. rhamnosus becoming much more tolerant to nisin Z, and Lb. rhamnosus and L. lactis ssp. lactis biovar. diacetylactis UL719 exhibiting large increases in milk acidification capacity. Our data showed that continuous milk prefermentation with immobilized cells can stimulate the acidification activity of low-acidifying strains and produce fermented milks with improved and controlled functional properties.
Journal of Dairy Science 01/2008; 90(12):5361-73. · 2.57 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A nisin Z-producing strain, Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis biovar. diacetylactis UL719 and two nisin-sensitive cultures, Lactobacillus rhamnosus RW-9595 M producing exopolysaccharide (EPS), and Lc. lactis subsp. cremoris for acidification, were tested in pure and mixed cultures during milk fermentation. The mixed culture of the three strains showed a higher acidifying capacity at 34°C and 38°C, even though populations of Lc. cremoris were largely reduced compared with pure cultures. Bacteriocin production was 3.1–4.6-fold higher in mixed cultures than for pure cultures of Lc. diacetylactis UL719. These data can be explained by commensalism behavior relying on high proteolytic activity of Lc. cremoris and autolysis and nisin Z-induced lysis. In mixed culture, EPS production was 3-fold lower than for Lb. rhamnosus RW-9595 M pure culture. Our data showed that this strain combination, with nisin-producing and sensitive strains, can be used in mixed cultures for manufacture of fresh cheese with improved functional properties.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: During cheese making, interactions between different strains of lactic acid bacteria play an important role. However, few methods are available to specifically determine each bacterial population in mixed cultures, in particular for strains of the same species. The aim of this study was to develop a real-time PCR quantification method to monitor the population of Lactococcus cremoris ATCC 19257 in mixed culture with Lactobacillus rhamnosus RW-9595M and the bacteriocin-producing microorganism Lc. diacetylactis UL719. The specificity of the two primers 68FCa33 and 16SR308 used to amplify a 240-bp fragment of DNA from Lc. cremoris was demonstrated by conventional PCR. Using these primers for real-time PCR, the detection limit was 2 cfu/reaction or 200 cfu of Lc. cremoris ATCC 19257 per millilitre of mixed culture in milk. In pure culture batch fermentation, good correlation was obtained between real-time PCR and the conventional plating method for monitoring Lc. cremoris growth. In mixed culture batch fermentation, Lb. rhamnosus and Lc. cremoris decreased due to nisin Z production by Lc. diacetylactis. The decrease of the Lc. cremoris cell population detected by real-time PCR was not possible to observe by the plate count method in the presence of a Lc. diacetylactis population that was 1 log higher.
Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology 02/2005; 66(4):414-21. · 3.69 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Microorganisms play essential roles in the manufacture and ripening of cheese, largely contributing to the development of organoleptic properties by their metabolism and varied enzymatic activities, and to microbiological safety through barrier effects of complex microflora and production of several low-molecular-weight antimicrobial compounds. Although extensive research has been done on bacteriocins of cheese bacteria for controlling pathogens in cheese, until now only few applications have emerged. The control of spoilage yeasts and moulds has been traditionally done by chemical additives, but the application of new antifungal protective cultures is very promising, especially for the cheese industry. It has also been recently shown that naturally established cheese microflora can efficiently prevent the growth of pathogenic or spoilage microorganisms. Cheese is also a very suitable but underused carrier for the delivery of probiotic bacteria, conferring health benefits on the host, with specific advantages compared with fermented milks and yoghurts such as high cell viability. This review addresses the latest developments in applications of protective cultures (with bacteriocin and antifungal activities) or microflora with barrier effects, and probiotic cultures for the production of high quality, safe and “healthy” cheese, as well as emphasizing some of the underlying challenges and possible solutions. Furthermore, new safety criteria for food cultures relating to the presence and transferability of antibiotic resistance genes are discussed.
Dairy Science and Technology 88(4-5):421-444. · 1.38 Impact Factor