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Res Microbiol. 2006 Apr;157(3):241-7. Epub 2005 Sep 22.

Kinetic analysis of the antibacterial activity of probiotic lactobacilli towards Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium reveals a role for lactic acid and other inhibitory compounds.

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  • 1Research Group of Industrial Microbiology, Fermentation Technology and Downstream Processing, Department of Applied Biological Sciences and Engineering, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium.


Six Lactobacillus strains including commercial probiotic ones (L. acidophilus IBB 801, L. amylovorus DCE 471, L. casei Shirota, L. johnsonii La1, L. plantarum ACA-DC 287 and L. rhamnosus GG) were investigated, through batch fermentations under controlled conditions, for their capacity to inhibit Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium SL1344. All lactobacilli displayed strong antibacterial activity toward this Gram-negative pathogen and significantly inhibited invasion of the pathogen into cultured human enterocyte-like Caco-2/TC7 cells. By studying the production kinetics of antibacterial activity and applying the appropriate acid and pH control samples during a killing assay, we were able to distinguish between the effect of lactic acid and other inhibitory compounds produced. The antibacterial activity of L. acidophilus IBB 801, L. amylovorus DCE 471, L. casei Shirota and L. rhamnosus GG was solely due to the production of lactic acid. The antibacterial activity of L. johnsonii La1 and L. plantarum ACA-DC 287 was due to the production of lactic acid and (an) unknown inhibitory substance(s). The latter was (were) only active in the presence of lactic acid. In addition, the lactic acid produced was responsible for significant inhibitory activity upon invasion of Salmonella into Caco-2/TC7 cells.

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