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Anaerobe. 2003 Oct;9(5):231-42.

Mixed culture fermentation studies on the effects of synbiotics on the human intestinal pathogens Campylobacter jejuni and Escherichia coli.

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School of Animal and Microbial Sciences, The University of Reading, P.O Box 228, Whiteknights, Reading RG6 6AJ, UK.


Batch and continuous culture anaerobic fermentation systems, inoculated with human faeces, were utilised to investigate the antimicrobial actions of two probiotics, Lactobacillus plantarum 0407, combined with oligofructose and Bifidobacterium bifidum Bb12, combined with a mixture of oligofructose and xylo-oligosaccharides (50:50 w/w) against E. coli and Campylobacter jejuni. In batch fermenters, both E. coli and C. jejuni were inhibited by the synbiotics, even when the culture pH was maintained at around neutral. In continuous culture C. jejuni was inhibited but the synbiotic failed to inhibit E. coli. Although no definitive answer in addressing the mechanisms underlying antimicrobial activity was derived, results suggested that acetate and lactate directly were conferring antagonistic action, rather than as a result of lowering culture pH. In the course of the study culturing and fluorescent in situ hybridisation (FISH) methodologies for the enumeration of bacterial populations were compared. Bifidobacterial populations were underestimated using plating techniques, suggesting the non-culturability of certain bifidobacterial species.

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