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Probiotic potential of Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Kluyveromyces marxianus isolated from West African spontaneously fermented cereal and milk products

  • 2020-08-05
  • Yeast 37(9-10)
    • G. Motey
    • Pernille Johansen
    • J. Owusu-Kwarteng
    • L. Ofori
    • K. Obiri-Danso
    • H. Siegumfeldt
    • N. Larsen
    • L. Jespersen


The yeast species Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Kluyveromyces marxianus are associated with fermentation of West African indigenous foods. The aim of this study was to characterize potential probiotic properties of S. cerevisiae and K. marxianus isolates from the West African milk products lait caillé and nunu and a cereal-based product mawè. The strains (14 in total) were identified by 26S rRNA gene sequencing and characterized for survival at gastrointestinal stress (bile salts and low pH) and adhesion to Caco-2 intestinal epithelial cells. Selected yeast isolates were tested for their effect on the transepithelial electrical resistance (TEER), using the intestinal epithelial cell line Caco-2 and for maintenance of intracellular pH (pHi ) during perfusion with gastrointestinal pH (3.5 and 6.5). All tested yeasts were able to grow in bile salts in a strain-dependent manner, exhibiting a maximum specific growth rate (μmax ) of 0.58-1.50 h-1 . At pH 2.5, slow growth was observed for the isolates from mawè (μmax of 0.06-0.80 h-1 ), whereas growth of yeasts from other sources was mostly inhibited. Yeast adhesion to Caco-2 cells was strain specific and varied between 8.0% and 36.2%. Selected strains of S. cerevisiae and K. marxianus were able to maintain the pHi homeostasis at gastrointestinal pH and to increase TEER across the Caco-2 monolayers, indicating their potential to improve intestinal barrier functions. Based on overall results, strains of K. marxianus and S. cerevisiae from mawè exhibited the highest probiotic potential and might be recommended for further development as starter cultures in West African fermented products.

Keywords: African fermented food; Kluyveromyces marxianus; Saccharomyces cerevisiae; adhesion; survival at gastrointestinal stress; transepithelial electrical resistance.

Research Insights

SupplementHealth OutcomeEffect TypeEffect Size
Saccharomyces cerevisiaeImproved Intestinal Barrier FunctionBeneficial
Saccharomyces cerevisiae fermentateImproved Intestinal Barrier FunctionBeneficial
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