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Enhanced Stability and Function of Probiotic Streptococcus thermophilus with Self-Encapsulation by Increasing the Biosynthesis of Hyaluronan.

  • 2022-09-16
  • ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 14(38)
    • Dong-Xu Ma
    • Ying Zhou
    • Lidan Wu
    • Zu-Yi Li
    • Wen-Jie Jiang
    • Si-Ling Huang
    • Xueqing Guo
    • J. Sheng
    • Feng-Shan Wang


The harsh conditions of the gastrointestinal tract limit the potential health benefits of oral probiotics. It is promising that oral bioavailability is improved by strengthening the self-protection of probiotics. Here, we report the encapsulation of a probiotic strain by endogenous production of hyaluronan to enhance the effects of oral administration of the strain. The traditional probiotic Streptococcus thermophilus was engineered to produce hyaluronan shells by using traceless genetic modifications and clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat interference. After oral delivery to mice in the form of fermented milk, hyaluronan-coated S. thermophilus (204.45 mg/L hyaluronan in the milk) exhibited greater survival and longer colonization time in the gut than the wild-type strain. In particular, the engineered probiotic strain could also produce hyaluronan after intestinal colonization. Importantly, S. thermophilus self-encapsulated with hyaluronan increased the number of goblet cells, mucus production, and abundance of the microorganisms related to the biosynthesis of short-chain fatty acids, resulting in the enhancement of the intestinal barrier. The coating formed by endogenous hyaluronan provides an ideal reference for the effective oral administration of probiotics.

Keywords: engineered S. thermophilus; gut microbiome; hyaluronan coating; intestinal barrier; probiotic stability.

Research Insights

SupplementHealth OutcomeEffect TypeEffect Size
Streptococcus thermophilus SEBioticImproved Intestinal Mucosal Barrier FunctionBeneficial
Streptococcus thermophilus SEBioticImproved Probiotic SurvivalBeneficial

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