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Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis BB-12 Protects against Antibiotic-Induced Functional and Compositional Changes in Human Fecal Microbiome

  • 2021-08-17
  • Nutrients 13(8)
    • D. Merenstein
    • C. Fraser
    • R. Roberts
    • Tian Liu
    • Silvia Grant-Beurmann
    • T. Tan
    • K. H. Smith
    • T. Cronin
    • Olivia A Martin
    • M. Sanders
    • S. Lucan
    • M. Kane


The administration of broad-spectrum antibiotics is often associated with antibiotic-associated diarrhea (AAD), and impacts gastrointestinal tract homeostasis, as evidenced by the following: (a) an overall reduction in both the numbers and diversity of the gut microbiota, and (b) decreased short-chain fatty acid (SCFA) production. Evidence in humans that probiotics may enhance the recovery of microbiota populations after antibiotic treatment is equivocal, and few studies have addressed if probiotics improve the recovery of microbial metabolic function. Our aim was to determine if Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis BB-12 (BB-12)-containing yogurt could protect against antibiotic-induced fecal SCFA and microbiota composition disruptions. We conducted a randomized, allocation-concealed, controlled trial of amoxicillin/clavulanate administration (days 1-7), in conjunction with either BB-12-containing or control yogurt (days 1-14). We measured the fecal levels of SCFAs and bacterial composition at baseline and days 7, 14, 21, and 30. Forty-two participants were randomly assigned to the BB-12 group, and 20 participants to the control group. Antibiotic treatment suppressed the fecal acetate levels in both the control and probiotic groups. Following the cessation of antibiotics, the fecal acetate levels in the probiotic group increased over the remainder of the study and returned to the baseline levels on day 30 (-1.6% baseline), whereas, in the control group, the acetate levels remained suppressed. Further, antibiotic treatment reduced the Shannon diversity of the gut microbiota, for all the study participants at day 7. The magnitude of this change was larger and more sustained in the control group compared to the probiotic group, which is consistent with the hypothesis that BB-12 enhanced microbiota recovery. There were no significant baseline clinical differences between the two groups. Concurrent administration of amoxicillin/clavulanate and BB-12 yogurt, to healthy subjects, was associated with a significantly smaller decrease in the fecal SCFA levels and a more stable taxonomic profile of the microbiota over time than the control group.

Keywords: Bifidobacterium; abundance; antibiotic-induced perturbation; diversity; gut microbiota; probiotic; short-chain fatty acid.

Research Insights

SupplementHealth OutcomeEffect TypeEffect Size
Bifidobacterium bifidum/lactis Bb-02Increased Fecal Short-Chain Fatty Acid LevelsBeneficial
Bifidobacterium bifidum/lactis Bb-02Maintained Gut Microbiota CompositionBeneficial
Bifidobacterium lactis Bb-02Improved Microbiota DiversityBeneficial
Bifidobacterium lactis Bb-02Increased SCFA LevelsBeneficial
Bifidobacterium lactis Bb-02Maintenance of Stable Gut Microbiota ProfileBeneficial
Bifidobacterium lactis BB-12Enhanced Microbiota RecoveryBeneficial
Bifidobacterium lactis BB-12Improved Microbial Taxonomic StabilityBeneficial
Bifidobacterium lactis BB-12Increased Fecal Acetate LevelsBeneficial
Bifidobacterium lactis HDS Bb-02Improved Fecal Short-Chain Fatty Acid LevelsBeneficial
Bifidobacterium lactis HDS Bb-02Improved Gut Microbiota DiversityBeneficial
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