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Appl Environ Microbiol. 1995 Jul;61(7):2771-4.

Genetic marking of Lactococcus lactis shows its survival in the human gastrointestinal tract.

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Department of Microbiology, Netherlands Institute for Dairy Research (NIZO), Ede.


A human feeding study was performed with Lactococcus lactis TC165.5, which is genetically marked by insertion of the sucrose-nisin conjugative transposon Tn5276 and chromosomal resistance to rifampin and streptomycin. The fate of strain TC165.5 and its nucleic acids was monitored by conventional plating methods and by molecular detection techniques based on specific PCR amplification of the nisin (nisA) gene from DNA extracted from human feces. A method was developed for the efficient extraction of microbial DNA from human feces. The results show that a fraction of viable cells of L. lactis TC165.5 survived passage through the human gastrointestinal tract. Only cells that passed within 3 days of ingestion could be recovered from the feces of the volunteers, and they accounted for approximately 1% of the total number of cells consumed. The presence of nisA in DNA extracted from feces could be detected up to 4 days, when viable cells were no longer present.

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