Exploring Four Pig-Related Bacteria Strains for Probiotic Use

Jim Crocker
6th March, 2024

Exploring Four Pig-Related Bacteria Strains for Probiotic Use

Image Source: Natural Science News, 2024

Key Findings

  • Study at Nanjing Agricultural University found certain pig bacteria may improve pig health
  • Lactobacillus johnsonii L16 excels in breaking down carbs and surviving in tough gut conditions
  • Some bacteria strains can fight off harmful pathogens, potentially protecting pigs from illness
Probiotics, the beneficial bacteria that promote health in humans and animals, have become a focal point in scientific research due to their potential to improve gastrointestinal health and enhance immune responses. In the realm of livestock farming, the quest for effective probiotics is particularly pertinent, as they can contribute to the health and productivity of farm animals, including pigs. A recent study by researchers at Nanjing Agricultural University has shed light on the probiotic capabilities of certain lactic acid bacteria (LAB) derived from pigs[1]. The study focused on four LAB strains: Lactobacillus johnsonii L16, Latilactobacillus curvatus ZHA1, Ligilactobacillus salivarius ZSA5, and Ligilactobacillus animalis ZSB1. These strains were analyzed using genomic techniques to decipher their genetic makeup, and in vitro tests were conducted to assess their probiotic properties. Genomic analysis revealed that the genome sizes of these strains varied, with a range of base pairs and different GC contents—a measure of the genome's stability and DNA structure. This diversity indicated that each strain might have unique capabilities and tolerances. For instance, L. johnsonii L16 was found to have a higher number of carbohydrate-active enzymes compared to the others, suggesting a superior ability to break down a variety of carbohydrates. The researchers employed pan-genomic analysis, which compares the complete gene sets of different organisms, and collinearity analysis, which looks at the order and arrangement of genes, to understand the differences among the four LAB strains. These analyses are crucial for identifying the specific traits that contribute to a strain's probiotic potential. In line with the FAO/WHO criteria for probiotics[2], the strains were also tested for their ability to survive in harsh conditions like low pH and high bile salt concentrations, which simulate the environment of the animal gut. All four strains showed acid tolerance, with L. johnsonii L16 displaying the greatest tolerance. Similarly, they all possessed genes related to bile salt tolerance and demonstrated the ability to survive in the presence of bile salt. Antioxidant properties are another important aspect of probiotics, as they can help to protect the host's cells from damage. The four LAB strains were found to have genes related to antioxidant activity and were able to exhibit this activity in vitro. Furthermore, the antibacterial potential of these strains was tested against harmful bacteria such as enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli K88 (ETEC K88) and Salmonella, common pathogens that can cause illness in pigs. Notably, L. johnsonii L16 and L. salivarius ZSA5 contained gene clusters encoding bacteriocin, a type of antimicrobial peptide that can inhibit the growth of certain bacteria. The findings from this study are supported by earlier research that has highlighted the health-promoting properties of LAB strains, including their immunomodulatory and antiproliferative activities[3]. For example, Lactiplantibacillus pentosus L33, previously studied for its probiotic potential, was shown to possess genetic loci involved in host-microbe interactions, similar to the strains examined in the current study[3]. Additionally, the ability of L. taiwanensis CLG01 to enhance immune responses and exhibit antibacterial activity parallels the traits observed in the porcine-derived LAB strains[4]. Overall, the study by Nanjing Agricultural University provides a comprehensive evaluation of the probiotic potential of four porcine-derived LAB strains. Among them, L. johnsonii L16 emerges as a particularly promising candidate for use in swine production. The combination of genomic analysis and in vitro testing offers a robust approach for assessing the suitability of specific strains as probiotics. These insights contribute to the development of new probiotic products that can enhance the health and productivity of livestock, an application with significant implications for the agriculture industry.

BiotechGeneticsAnimal Science


Main Study

1) Genomics-based analysis of four porcine-derived lactic acid bacteria strains and their evaluation as potential probiotics.

Published 5th March, 2024


Related Studies

2) Criteria to Qualify Microorganisms as "Probiotic" in Foods and Dietary Supplements.


3) Whole-Genome Sequencing, Phylogenetic and Genomic Analysis of Lactiplantibacillus pentosus L33, a Potential Probiotic Strain Isolated From Fermented Sausages.


4) Complete genome sequencing of Peyer's patches-derived Lactobacillus taiwanensis CLG01, a potential probiotic with antibacterial and immunomodulatory activity.


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