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J Appl Microbiol. 2006 Jun;100(6):1324-32.

Antagonistic activity of probiotic lactobacilli and bifidobacteria against entero- and uropathogens.

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Department of Microbiology, Medical Faculty, University of Tartu, Estonia.



To develop in vitro assays for comparing the antagonistic properties and anti-oxidative activity of probiotic Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium strains against various entero- and urinary pathogens.


The antagonistic activity of five probiotic lactobacilli (Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG, Lactobacillus fermentum ME-3, Lactobacillus acidophilus La5, Lactobacillus plantarum 299v and Lactobacillus paracasei 8700:2) and two bifidobacteria (Bifidobacterium lactis Bb12, Bifidobacterium longum 46) against six target pathogens was estimated using different assays (solid and liquid media, anaerobic and microaerobic cultivation) and ranked (low, intermediate and high). Bacterial fermentation products were determined by gas chromatography, and the total anti-oxidative activity of probiotics was measured using linolenic acid test. Pyelonephritic Escherichia coli was highly suppressed by GG and both bifidobacteria strains. Lactobacilli strains 8700:2, 299v and ME-3 were the most effective against Salmonella enterica ssp. enterica in microaerobic while ME-3 and both bifidobacteria expressed high activity against Shigella sonnei in anaerobic milieu. Lact. paracasei, Lact. rhamnosus and Lact. plantarum strains showed intermediate antagonistic activity against Helicobacter pylori under microaerobic conditions on solid media. The highest anti-oxidative activity was characteristic for Lact. fermentum ME-3 (P < 0.05). No efficient antagonist against Clostridium difficile was found. The positive correlations between the pH, lactic acid production and anti-microbial activity for all tested probiotics were assessed.


Developed experimental assays enable to compare the anti-microbial and -oxidative activity of Lactobacillus and/or Bifidobacterium probiotics, which have been claimed to possess the ability of suppressing the growth of various enteric and urinary pathogens.


Screening Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium sp. strains according to their activity in various environmental conditions could precede the clinical efficacy studies for adjunct treatment with probiotics in cure of different gastrointestinal and urinary tract infections.

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