• Bifidobacterium longum counters the effects of obesity: Partial successful translation from rodent to human

      Schellekens, Harriët; Torres-Fuentes, Cristina; van de Wouw, Marcel; Long-Smith, Caitriona M.; Mitchell, Avery; Strain, Conall; Berding, Kirsten; Bastiaanssen, Thomaz, F. S.; Rea, Kieran; Golubeva, Anna V.; et al. (Elsevier, 2021-01-31)
      BackgroundThe human gut microbiota has emerged as a key factor in the development of obesity. Certain probiotic strains have shown anti-obesity effects. The objective of this study was to investigate whether Bifidobacterium longum APC1472 has anti-obesity effects in high-fat diet (HFD)-induced obese mice and whether B. longum APC1472 supplementation reduces body-mass index (BMI) in healthy overweight/obese individuals as the primary outcome. B. longum APC1472 effects on waist-to-hip ratio (W/H ratio) and on obesity-associated plasma biomarkers were analysed as secondary outcomes. MethodsB. longum APC1472 was administered to HFD-fed C57BL/6 mice in drinking water for 16 weeks. In the human intervention trial, participants received B. longum APC1472 or placebo supplementation for 12 weeks, during which primary and secondary outcomes were measured at the beginning and end of the intervention. FindingsB. longum APC1472 supplementation was associated with decreased bodyweight, fat depots accumulation and increased glucose tolerance in HFD-fed mice. While, in healthy overweight/obese adults, the supplementation of B. longum APC1472 strain did not change primary outcomes of BMI (0.03, 95% CI [-0.4, 0.3]) or W/H ratio (0.003, 95% CI [-0.01, 0.01]), a positive effect on the secondary outcome of fasting blood glucose levels was found (-0.299, 95% CI [-0.44, -0.09]). InterpretationThis study shows a positive translational effect of B. longum APC1472 on fasting blood glucose from a preclinical mouse model of obesity to a human intervention study in otherwise healthy overweight and obese individuals. This highlights the promising potential of B. longum APC1472 to be developed as a valuable supplement in reducing specific markers of obesity. FundingThis research was funded in part by Science Foundation Ireland in the form of a Research Centre grant (SFI/12/RC/2273) to APC Microbiome Ireland and by a research grant from Cremo S.A.
    • Comparative Genomics Analysis of Lactobacillus ruminis from Different Niches

      Wang, Shuo; Yang, Bo; Ross, R. Paul; STANTON, CATHERINE; Zhao, Jianxin; Zhang, Hao; Chen, Wei; National Natural Science Foundation of China; Jiangsu Province; 31771953; et al. (MDPI AG, 2020-01-08)
      Lactobacillus ruminis is a commensal motile lactic acid bacterium living in the intestinal tract of humans and animals. Although a few genomes of L. ruminis were published, most of them were animal derived. To explore the genetic diversity and potential niche-specific adaptation changes of L. ruminis, in the current work, draft genomes of 81 L. ruminis strains isolated from human, bovine, piglet, and other animals were sequenced, and comparative genomic analysis was performed. The genome size and GC content of L. ruminis on average were 2.16 Mb and 43.65%, respectively. Both the origin and the sampling distance of these strains had a great influence on the phylogenetic relationship. For carbohydrate utilization, the human-derived L. ruminis strains had a higher consistency in the utilization of carbon source compared to the animal-derived strains. L. ruminis mainly increased the competitiveness of niches by producing class II bacteriocins. The type of clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats /CRISPR-associated (CRISPR/Cas) system presented in L. ruminis was mainly subtype IIA. The diversity of CRISPR/Cas locus depended on the high denaturation of spacer number and sequence, although cas1 protein was relatively conservative. The genetic differences in those newly sequenced L. ruminis strains highlighted the gene gains and losses attributed to niche adaptations.
    • Comparative genomics and gene-trait matching analysis of Bifidobacterium breve from Chinese children

      Liu, Rui; Yang, Bo; STANTON, CATHERINE; Ross, Paul; Zhao, Jianxin; Zhang, Hao; Chen, Wei; National Natural Science Foundation of China; National First-Class Discipline Program of Food Science and Technology; the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities; et al. (Elsevier BV, 2020-08)
      Bifidobacterium breve is one of the dominant Bifidobacterial species in children. In the current work, 46 strains of B. breve isolated from fecal samples of Chinese children were analyzed using whole-genome sequencing and comparative genomics to explore their genetic diversity, as well as genotype and phenotype analysis for carbohydrate utilization and antibiotic tolerance. The phylogenetic tree was independent of region, age and feeding mode, and without any regularity in the clustering of carbohydrates and antibiotics at the genetic level. Based on genotypic-phenotypic correlation analysis, the diversity of glycosyl hydrolases and the ability of strains to metabolize carbohydrates corroborated the predominance of B. breve in the children's intestines. Simultaneously, the sensitivity of strains to antibiotics increased the understanding of its genetic features and provided a potential basis for safety evaluation.
    • Comparison of lactose free and traditional mozzarella cheese during shelf-life by aroma compounds and sensory analysis

      Condurso, Concetta; Tripodi, Gianluca; Merlino, Maria; Prestia, Ottavia; STANTON, CATHERINE; Verzera, Antonella; Italian Ministry for Education, University and Research; AIM 1823923-3 - CUP J44I18000190006 (Elsevier, 2021-04-30)
      Aroma compounds and sensory features of lactose free (LFM) and traditional (TM) Mozzarella cheese have been investigated during their labeled shelf-life. Acetoin and 2-heptanone characterized both types of cheese at the production time. During the shelf-life, a statistically significant increase in the amount of the volatiles coming from amino acid and fatty acid metabolism occurred in the LFM samples after 8 days of storage and, to a lesser extent, in TM cheese after 13 days of storage. As regard sensory analysis, milk odor and milk flavor descriptors characterized TM and LFM in the early stage of their shelf-life; bitter and acid taste and yoghurt odor descriptors characterized LFM after 8 days and TM after 13 days. The differences between the two cheese types can be attributed to the proteolytic activity of the lactase enzyme. As a result, the volatile aroma profile and the sensory quality should be taken into account for a proper shelf-life definition of Mozzarella cheese and a shorter shelf-life should be suggested for LFM than TM cheese.
    • Diversity of Gut Microbiota and Bifidobacterial Community of Chinese Subjects of Different Ages and from Different Regions

      Yang, Bo; Yan, Shuang; Chen, Yang; Ross, R. Paul; STANTON, CATHERINE; Zhao, Jianxin; Zhang, Hao; Chen, Wei; National Natural Science Foundation of China; National First-Class Discipline Program of Food Science and Technology; et al. (MDPI AG, 2020-07-24)
      Gut microbiota composition and functionality are closely linked to host health. In this study, the fecal microbiota and bifidobacterial communities of 111 healthy volunteers from four regions of China of varying age profiles (Child, 1–5 years; Young, 18–50 years; Elder, 60–80 years; Longevity, ≥90 years) were investigated via high-throughput sequencing. Canonical analysis revealed that the gut microbiota, as well as bifidobacteria profiles of the subjects, clustered according to their regions and age. Eight genera were shared among all subjects, however, certain genera distributed differently in subjects grouped by region and age. Faecalibacterium was enriched in samples from Zhongxiang, unclassified Ruminococcaceae and Christensenellaceae were enriched in the Longevity group, and Bifidobacterium was enriched in Child. Within Bifidobacterium, B. longum was the most abundant species in almost all samples except for Child, in which B. pseudocatenulatum was the most abundant. Additionally, the abundances of B. adolescentis and B. dentium were lower in Child. In conclusion, our results suggest that geography and age affect the structure of the gut microbiota, as well as Bifidobacterium composition, and this variation may greatly associate with the metabolic and immune changes that occur during the process of aging.
    • Extensive bacteriocin gene shuffling in the Streptococcus bovis/Streptococcus equinus complex reveals gallocin D with activity against vancomycin resistant enterococci

      Hill, Daragh; O’Connor, Paula M.; Altermann, Eric; Day, Li; Hill, Colin; STANTON, CATHERINE; Ross, Paul; Teagasc Walsh Fellowship Programme; Science Foundation Ireland; SFI/12/RC/2273 (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2020-08-10)
      Streptococcus gallolyticus LL009 produces gallocin D, a narrow spectrum two component bacteriocin with potent activity against vancomycin-resistant enterococci. Gallocin D is distinct from gallocin A, a separate two component bacteriocin produced by S. gallolyticus. Although the gene clusters encoding gallocin A and gallocin D have a high degree of gene synteny, the structural genes are highly variable and appear to have undergone gene shufing with other streptococcal species. Gallocin D was analysed in laboratory-based experiments. The mature peptides are 3,343± 1 Da and 3,019 ± 1 Da and could be readily synthesized and display activity against a vancomycin resistant Enterococcus strain EC300 with a MIC value of 1.56 µM. Importantly, these bacteriocins could contribute to the ability of S. gallolyticus to colonize the colon where they have been associated with colorectal cancer.
    • Improvements in sleep indices during exam stress due to consumption of a Bifidobacterium longum

      Moloney, Gerard M.; Long-Smith, Caitriona M.; Murphy, Amy; Dorland, Danielle; Hojabri, Sara Firuzeh; Ramirez, Loreto Olavarría; Marin, David Campos; Bastiaanssen, Thomaz, F. S.; Cusack, Anne-Marie; Berding, Kirsten; et al. (Elsevier, 2021-01-31)
      Targeting the gut microbiome as an effective therapeutic strategy for psychological disorders has shown promise in recent years. Variation in the composition of the microbiota and restoration of a stable microbiome using targeted interventions (psychobiotics) including Bifidobacteria have shown promise in pre-clinical studies, but more human data is required on the potential health benefits of these live microorganisms. Bifidobacterium including Bif. longum 1714 has been shown to dampen the effects of acute stress in humans. However, its effects over a period of prolonged stress have not been examined. A randomised, placebo-controlled, repeated measures, cross-over intervention study was conducted to examine the effects of a probiotic intervention on measures of stress, cognitive performance, and mood in healthy human volunteers. Twenty male students participated in this crossover study. Post-intervention assessments took place during the university exam period, which was used as a naturalistic chronic stressor. Self-reported measures of stress, depression, sleep quality, physical activity, gastrointestinal symptoms, cognition, and mood were assessed by questionnaire. In addition, tests from the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery (CANTAB) were administered to all participants. Stress and depression scores increased in both placebo and probiotic treated groups during the exam period. While overall sleep quality and duration of sleep improved significantly in the probiotic treated group during exam stress compared with the placebo treated group, B. longum 1714, similar to placebo treatment, showed no efficacy in improving measures of working memory, visual memory, sustained attention or perception. Overall, while B. longum 1714 shows promise in improving sleep quality and duration, it did not alleviate symptoms of chronic stress, depression, or any measure of cognitive assessment. Thus, further mechanistic studies into the ability of B. longum 1714 to modulate sleep during prolonged periods of stress are now warranted.
    • Microbiota and Neurodevelopmental Trajectories: Role of Maternal and Early-Life Nutrition

      Codagnone, Martin G.; STANTON, CATHERINE; O'Mahony, Siobhain M.; Dinan, Timothy G.; Cryan, John F.; Science Foundation Ireland; European Union; Nestlé Nutrition Institute; 754535; 12/RC/2273 (S. Karger AG, 2019-06-24)
      Pregnancy and early life are characterized by marked changes in body microbial composition. Intriguingly, these changes take place simultaneously with neurodevelopmental plasticity, suggesting a complex dialogue between the microbes that inhabit the gastrointestinal tract and the brain. The purpose of this chapter is to describe the natural trajectory of microbiota during pregnancy and early life, as well as review the literature available on its interaction with neurodevelopment. Several lines of evidence show that the gut microbiota interacts with diet, drugs and stress both prenatally and postnatally. Clinical and preclinical studies are illuminating how these disruptions result in different developmental outcomes. Understanding the role of the microbiota in neurodevelopment may lead to novel approaches to the study of the pathophysiology and treatment of neuropsychiatric disorders.
    • Stability of powdered infant formula during secondary shelf-life and domestic practices

      Condurso, Concetta; Cincotta, Fabrizio; Merlino, Maria; STANTON, CATHERINE; Verzera, Antonella; Italian Ministry for Education, University and Research (MIUR); AIM 1823923-3; CUP J44I18000190006 (Elsevier BV, 2020-10)
      Powdered infant formula (PIF) and lactose-free PIF during secondary shelf-life (SSL) and under domestic practices was investigated to verify their stability up to the expiration date and under the label instructions for milk reconstitution. Particular attention was given to variations in Maillard reaction and lipid peroxidation products identified and quantified by HS-SPME-GC-MS. Two types of PIF: Type A based on bovine milk and Type B a lactose-free product based on glucose syrup were analysed. The PIF were analysed at regular time intervals beyond the labelled expiration date after opening, and reconstituted using water at 70 °C, 80 °C and 90 °C. A large number of volatile compounds were identified and significant statistically differences resulted during SSL and water temperature used for reconstitution that were correlated to the PIF composition. The study showed that water temperature for reconstitution of samples and the SSL has to be adapted to PIF composition.