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Molecular Routes to Specific Identification of the Lactobacillus Casei Group at the Species, Subspecies and Strain Level

  • 2020-04-13
  • International Journal of Molecular Sciences 21(8)
    • P. Jarocki
    • Elwira Komoń-Janczara
    • A. Glibowska
    • M. Dworniczak
    • Monika Pytka
    • A. Korzeniowska-Kowal
    • A. Wzorek
    • M. Kordowska-Wiater


The genus Lactobacillus includes, among others, Lactobacillus casei, Lactobacillus paracasei and Lactobacillus rhamnosus, species that are collectively referred to as the Lactobacillus casei group. Many studies have shown that strains belonging to this group may decrease lactose intolerance, the effects of inflammatory bowel disease, diarrhea, constipation, food allergies and even colon cancer. Moreover, evidences exists of positive effects of these bacteria on mucosal immunity and blood cholesterol level. Because of their beneficial influence on human health, many of them are used as food additives and probiotic pharmaceuticals. It should be stressed that health-promoting properties are not attributed at the species level, but to specific strains. Therefore, procedures are necessary to allow specific identification at each phylogenetic level-genus, species and strain. In this paper we present a practical overview of molecular methods for the identification and differentiation of L. casei bacteria. The research included 30 bacterial strains belonging to three species: L.casei, L. paracasei and L. rhamnosus. Among the tested procedures were genus- and species-specific PCR, multiplex-PCR, Real-Time HRM analysis, RFLP-PCR, rep-PCR, RAPD-PCR, AFLP-PCR, and proteomic methods such as MALDI-TOF MS typing and SDS-PAGE fingerprinting. The obtained results showed that multiplex-PCR and MALDI-TOF MS turned out to be the most useful methods to identify the tested bacteria at the species level. At the strain level, the AFLP-PCR method showed the highest discriminatory power. We hope that the presented results will allow for the easy selection of an appropriate procedure, depending on the experiment conducted and the equipment capabilities of any given laboratory.

Keywords: L. casei; L. casei group; L. paracasei; L. rhamnosus; differentiation; identification; probiotics.

Research Insights

SupplementHealth OutcomeEffect TypeEffect Size
Lactobacillus casei PXN 37Improved Intestinal Mucosal ImmunityBeneficial
Lactobacillus casei PXN 37Reduced Blood CholesterolBeneficial
Lactobacillus casei PXN 37Reduced Cancer RiskBeneficial
Lactobacillus casei PXN 37Reduced ConstipationBeneficial
Lactobacillus casei PXN 37Reduced Diarrhea RateBeneficial
Lactobacillus casei PXN 37Reduced Effects of Inflammatory Bowel DiseaseBeneficial
Lactobacillus casei PXN 37Reduced Food Allergy IncidenceBeneficial
Lactobacillus casei PXN 37Reduced Lactose Intolerance SymptomsBeneficial
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