Lacticaseibacillus rhamnosus GG, or LGG, is the most studied probiotic bacteria in the world. However, its characteristics are not perfect, as it is unable to utilize the carbohydrate lactose in milk or break down the protein casein in milk. This is why the bacteria grows poorly in milk and why it must be added separately to probiotic dairy products.
In fact, attempts have been made to allow L. rhamnosus GG to adapt better to milk through genetic engineering. However, strict restrictions have prevented the use of these modified bacteria in human food.
Thanks to a recent breakthrough at the University of Helsinki, Finland, with researchers from the National Institute of Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering, Pakistan, features have now been successfully added to the probiotic LGG without gene modification, this which causes it to thrive and develop in milk.
The method used is known as conjugation, which is a technique used by certain groups of bacteria to transfer their characters to other bacteria. In the process, a bacteria produces a copy of its plasmid, a ring-shaped piece of DNA within the bacteria. Then the bacteria transfers the plasmid to an adjacent bacteria. The spread of plasmids, which carry traits useful for bacteria, can be rapid among bacterial communities.
In the case of Lacticaseibacillus rhamnosus GG, the plasmid which made it possible to use lactose and casein came from a specific bacterial strain of Lactococcus lactis cultivated in the same place.
“The new LGG strain is not genetically modified, which makes it possible to consume it as well as all the products containing it without any authorization procedure”, explains the project leader, the professor of microbiology Per Saris of the faculty of agriculture and forestry from the University of Helsinki.
The new strain can be used as a starting point in the development of new dairy products where the concentration of probiotics is already increasing at the production stage. In other words, the probiotic does not need to be added separately to the final product.
In addition, the new LGG strain may potentially be better equipped to grow, for example, in the infant’s intestine where it could utilize the lactose and casein found in breast milk, producing more lactic acid than the d strain. ‘origin.
“Lactic acid lowers the pH of the surface of the gut, reducing the viability of many pathogenic Gram-negative bacteria, such as E. coli, Salmonella and Shigella, which threaten the health of infants. Many, the new LGG strain may potentially be more effective in protecting infants than the old strain. After all, LGG has already been shown to relieve childhood atopic dermatitis and stimulate gut microbiota recovery after antibiotics. “
The researchers are in negotiations on the further application of their discovery.
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