Changes in fecal microflora induced by intubation of mice with Bacillus subtilis (natto) spores are dependent upon dietary components

Can J Microbiol. 1999 Jan;45(1):59-66.


We examined changes in mouse fecal microflora after various dietary components and Bacillus subtilis (natto) spores were delivered by intubation. The administration of intact spores of Bacillus subtilis (natto) did not affect fecal Enterobacteriaceae and Enterococcus spp. in all three diet groups; on the other hand, it did affect fecal Bacteroidaceae and Lactobacillus spp., depending upon the diets fed. The administration of autoclaved spores did not alter fecal microflora. In vitro cultures of Lactobacillus murinus obtained from mouse feces, together with Bacillus subtilis (natto) under aerobic conditions as a mixed culture, revealed that the growth of L. murinus was enhanced by the addition of intact spores of Bacillus subtilis (natto). This enhancement of growth was displayed only in media containing either sucrose, glucose, maltose, or fructose but not in media containing cornstarch, soluble starch, or microcrystalline cellulose. From these results it was evident that some metabolites of Bacillus subtilis (natto) produced during germination and (or) outgrowth of spores of this strain, requiring monosaccharides or oligosaccharides, participated in the enhancement of the growth of L. murinus.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bacillus subtilis / growth & development
  • Bacillus subtilis / physiology*
  • Caseins / chemistry
  • Diet*
  • Egg White
  • Feces / microbiology*
  • Female
  • Intestines / microbiology
  • Lactobacillus / growth & development*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Probiotics
  • Spores, Bacterial / physiology


  • Caseins