Lactic acid bacteria and yeasts in kefir grains and kefir made from them

J Ind Microbiol Biotechnol. 2002 Jan;28(1):1-6. doi: 10.1038/sj/jim/7000186.


In an investigation of the changes in the microflora along the pathway: kefir grains (A)-->kefir made from kefir grains (B)-->kefir made from kefir as inoculum (C), the following species of lactic acid bacteria (83-90%) of the microbial count in the grains) were identified: Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis, Streptococcus thermophilus, Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus, Lactobacillus helveticus, Lactobacillus casei subsp. pseudoplantarum and Lactobacillus brevis. Yeasts (10-17%) identified were Kluyveromyces marxianus var. lactis, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Candida inconspicua and Candida maris. In the microbial population of kefir grains and kefir made from them the homofermentative lactic streptococci (52-65% and 79-86%, respectively) predominated. Within the group of lactobacilli, the homofermentative thermophilic species L. delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus and L. helveticus (70-87% of the isolated bacilli) predominated. Along the pathway A-->B-->C, the streptococcal proportion in the total kefir microflora increased by 26-30% whereas the lactobacilli decreased by 13-23%. K. marxianus var. lactis was permanently present in kefir grains and kefirs, whereas the dominant lactose-negative yeast in the total yeast flora of the kefir grains dramatically decreased in kefir C.

MeSH terms

  • Aerobiosis
  • Animals
  • Gram-Positive Bacteria / isolation & purification*
  • Gram-Positive Bacteria / metabolism
  • Lactic Acid / metabolism*
  • Milk / microbiology*
  • Yeasts / isolation & purification*


  • Lactic Acid