Spores of several Bacillus species have long history of consumption and safe use as probiotics and a variety of formulations containing these organisms are available in the global market. Considering the difficulties in the identification of Bacillus species and the poor microbiological quality of many probiotic formulations, we used three up-to-date methodological approaches for analyzing the content of ten formulations marketed in Italy and labeled to contain Bacillus spores. We compared the performance of biochemical tests based on the BCL Vitek2 card and MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry, using 16S rDNA sequencing as the reference technique. The BCL card performed well in identifying all Bacillus probiotic strains as well as the Bruker's MALDI Biotyper. Nevertheless, the MALDI score values were sometimes lower than those indicated by the manufacturer for correct species identification. Contaminant bacteria (Lysinibacillus fusiformis, Acinetobacter baumannii, Bacillus cereus, Brevibacillus choshinensis, Bacillus licheniformis, Bacillus badius) were detected in some formulations. Characterization of the B. cereus contaminant showed the potential pathogenicity of this strain. Microbial enumeration performed by the plate count method revealed that the number of viable cells contained in many of the analyzed products differed from the labeled amount. Overall, our data show that only two of the ten analyzed formulations qualitatively and quantitatively respect what is on the label. Since probiotic properties are most often strain specific, molecular typing of isolates of the two most common Bacillus species, B. clausii and B. coagulans, was also performed. In conclusion, the majority of the analyzed products do not comply with quality requirements, most likely leading to reduced/absent efficacy of the preparation and representing a potential infective risk for consumers.

Identification of Bacillus species: Implication on the quality of probiotic formulations

Celandroni, Francesco
Primo
;
Mazzantini, Diletta;Lupetti, Antonella
Penultimo
;
Ghelardi, Emilia
Ultimo
2019-01-01

Abstract

Spores of several Bacillus species have long history of consumption and safe use as probiotics and a variety of formulations containing these organisms are available in the global market. Considering the difficulties in the identification of Bacillus species and the poor microbiological quality of many probiotic formulations, we used three up-to-date methodological approaches for analyzing the content of ten formulations marketed in Italy and labeled to contain Bacillus spores. We compared the performance of biochemical tests based on the BCL Vitek2 card and MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry, using 16S rDNA sequencing as the reference technique. The BCL card performed well in identifying all Bacillus probiotic strains as well as the Bruker's MALDI Biotyper. Nevertheless, the MALDI score values were sometimes lower than those indicated by the manufacturer for correct species identification. Contaminant bacteria (Lysinibacillus fusiformis, Acinetobacter baumannii, Bacillus cereus, Brevibacillus choshinensis, Bacillus licheniformis, Bacillus badius) were detected in some formulations. Characterization of the B. cereus contaminant showed the potential pathogenicity of this strain. Microbial enumeration performed by the plate count method revealed that the number of viable cells contained in many of the analyzed products differed from the labeled amount. Overall, our data show that only two of the ten analyzed formulations qualitatively and quantitatively respect what is on the label. Since probiotic properties are most often strain specific, molecular typing of isolates of the two most common Bacillus species, B. clausii and B. coagulans, was also performed. In conclusion, the majority of the analyzed products do not comply with quality requirements, most likely leading to reduced/absent efficacy of the preparation and representing a potential infective risk for consumers.
2019
Celandroni, Francesco; Vecchione, Alessandra; Cara, Alice; Mazzantini, Diletta; Lupetti, Antonella; Ghelardi, Emilia
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11568/990538
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