Functional properties of Lactobacillus plantarum strains isolated from Maasai traditional fermented milk products in Kenya

Curr Microbiol. 2008 Apr;56(4):315-21. doi: 10.1007/s00284-007-9084-6. Epub 2008 Jan 3.


Lactobacillus plantarum was the major species among the lactic acid bacterial strains isolated from traditional fermented milk of the Maasai in Kenya. Selected strains were characterized for their functional properties using in vitro standard procedures. All strains expressed acid tolerance at pH 2.0 after 2-h exposure of values that ranged from 1% to 100%, while bile tolerance of acid-stressed cells at 0.3% oxgal varied from 30% to 80%. In vitro adhesion to the mucus-secreting cell line HT 29 MTX and binding capacity to extracellular protein matrices was demonstrated for several strains. The four strains tested in a simulated stomach duodenum passage survived with recovery rates ranging from 17% to 100%. Strains were intrinsically resistant to several antibiotics tested. From these in vitro studies, a number of Lb. plantarum strains isolated from the Maasai traditional fermented milk showed probiotic potential. The strains are good candidates for multifunctional starter culture development.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology
  • Bacterial Adhesion
  • Bile / microbiology
  • Cell Line
  • Colony Count, Microbial
  • Cultured Milk Products / microbiology*
  • Extracellular Matrix Proteins / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Kenya
  • Lactobacillus plantarum / drug effects
  • Lactobacillus plantarum / isolation & purification*
  • Lactobacillus plantarum / physiology*
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Microbial Viability
  • Protein Binding


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Extracellular Matrix Proteins