Caister Academic Press

Lactobacilli as Probiotics: Discovering New Functional Aspects and Target Sites

Koen Venema and Marjolein Meijerink
from: Probiotics and Prebiotics: Current Research and Future Trends (Edited by: Koen Venema and Ana Paula do Carmo). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2015) Pages: 29-42.


Probiotic lactobacilli have been in use for several decades now. Still, we hardly know the molecular mechanisms underlying the probiotic effect. Two strains, L. rhamnosus GG and L. plantarum WCFS1 have been studied in great detail, and mutants of these strains have greatly aided in our understanding of the interaction with the host. However, several surprising results were obtained as well, and leave more questions than answers. The first part of this chapter lists the recent advances in the molecular understanding of interaction of probiotic lactobacilli with the host. Especially surface molecules are thought to play a crucial role in this interaction. In the second half of the chapter we briefly highlight some of the newest applications. Although there have not been a lot of studies with these novel approaches, the initial results are promising and require further research, not only to confirm the results found, but also to deduce the mode of action of these probiotics read more ...
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