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Int J Food Microbiol. 1997 Mar 18;35(1):1-27.

Selective detection, enumeration and identification of potentially probiotic Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium species in mixed bacterial populations.

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Food Research Association, Leatherhead, Surrey, UK.


Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium species constitute a significant proportion of probiotic cultures used in developed countries in 'microbial adjunct nutrition'. A number of differential plating methodologies have been developed which seek to selectively detect and enumerate these bacterial groups in bioproducts. Differences in oxygen tolerance, nutritional requirements, antibiotic susceptibility, and colony morphology and colour constitute the bases of differentiation in these methods. The choice of methodology depends on the nature of the bioproduct to be examined (wet or dry) and the presence of other bacteria such as starter cultures. In addition, a number of nucleic acid methods have been developed in recent years which enable the specific detection of these bacterial groups at species, subspecies and strain level in mixed populations. The methods use synthetic 16S and 23S rRNA-targeted hybridisation probes, the specificity of which can be adjusted to fit any taxonomic ranking from genus to genotype, for detection, enumeration and identification in situ or after differential plating. The combined use of differential plating and molecular strain typing methodologies provides food and medical microbiologists with a powerful and targeted approach to the detection, enumeration and identification of these bacterial groups and their members in a wide range of food and biological materials. An overview of these methods is presented in this review.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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