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Appl Environ Microbiol. 2001 Jun;67(6):2430-5.

Characterization of the properties of human- and dairy-derived probiotics for prevention of infectious diseases in fish.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry and Food Chemistry, University of Turku, 20014 Turku, Finland.


The present study aimed to investigate the potential probiotic properties of six lactic acid bacteria (LAB) intended for human use, Lactobacillus rhamnosus ATCC 53103, Lactobacillus casei Shirota, Lactobacillus bulgaricus, L. rhamnosus LC 705, Bifidobacterium lactis Bb12, and Lactobacillus johnsonii La1, and one for animal use, Enterococcus faecium Tehobak, for use as a fish probiotic. The strains for human use were specifically chosen since they are known to be safe for human use, which is of major importance because the fish are meant for human consumption. The selection was carried out by five different methods: mucosal adhesion, mucosal penetration, inhibition of pathogen growth and adhesion, and resistance to fish bile. The adhesion abilities of the seven LAB and three fish pathogens, Vibrio anguillarum, Aeromonas salmonicida, and Flavobacterium psychrophilum, were determined to mucus from five different sites on the surface or in the gut of rainbow trout. Five of the tested LAB strains showed considerable adhesion to different fish mucus types (14 to 26% of the added bacteria). Despite their adhesive character, the LAB strains were not able to inhibit the mucus binding of A. salmonicida. Coculture experiments showed significant inhibition of growth of A. salmonicida, which was mediated by competition for nutrients rather than secretion of inhibitory substances by the probiotic bacteria as measured in spent culture liquid. All LAB except L. casei Shirota showed tolerance against fish bile. L. rhamnosus ATCC 53103 and L. bulgaricus were found to penetrate fish mucus better than other probiotic bacteria. Based on bile resistance, mucus adhesion, mucus penetration, and suppression of fish pathogen growth, L. rhamnosus ATCC 53103 and L. bulgaricus can be considered for future in vivo challenge studies in fish as a novel and safe treatment in aquaculture.

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