Although the health-promoting roles of bifidobacteria are widely accepted, the diversity of bifidobacteria among the human intestinal microbiota is still poorly understood. We performed a census of bifidobacterial populations from human intestinal mucosal and fecal samples by plating them on selective medium, coupled with molecular analysis of selected rRNA gene sequences (16S rRNA gene and internally transcribed spacer [ITS] 16S-23S spacer sequences) of isolated colonies. A total of 900 isolates were collected, of which 704 were shown to belong to bifidobacteria. Analyses showed that the culturable bifidobacterial population from intestinal and fecal samples include six main phylogenetic taxa, i.e., Bifidobacterium longum, Bifidobacterium pseudo-catenulatum, Bifidobacterium adolescentis, Bifidobacterium pseudolongum, Bifidobacterium breve, and Bifidobacterium bifidum, and two species mostly detected in fecal samples, i.e., Bifidobacterium dentium and Bifidobacterium animatis subp. lactis. Analysis of bifidobacterial distribution based on age of the subject revealed that certain identified bifidobacterial species were exclusively present in the adult human gut microbiota whereas others were found to be widely distributed. We encountered significant intersubject variability and composition differences between fecal and mucosa-adherent bifidobacterial communities. In contrast, a modest diversification of bifidobacterial populations was noticed between different intestinal regions within the same individual (intrasubject variability). Notably, a small number of bifidobacterial isolates were shown to display a wide ecological distribution, thus suggesting that they possess a broad colonization capacity. © 2009, American Society for Microbiology
Exploring the diversity of the bifidobacterial population in the human intestinal tract. (I.F. 3.686) / Turroni F.; Foroni E.; Pizzetti P.; Giubellini V.; Ribbera A.; Merusi P.; Cagnasso P.; Ventura M; De Angelis G.L.. - In: APPLIED AND ENVIRONMENTAL MICROBIOLOGY. - ISSN 0099-2240. - 75 (6)(2009), pp. 1534-1545.
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