Comparative study of Bifidobacterium animalis, Escherichia coli, Lactobacillus casei and Saccharomyces boulardii probiotic properties

Arch Microbiol. 2009 Aug;191(8):623-30. doi: 10.1007/s00203-009-0491-x. Epub 2009 Jun 13.


The present work investigates some probiotic properties of four different microorganisms (Bifidobacterium animalis var. lactis BB-12, Escherichia coli EMO, Lactobacillus casei and Saccharomyces boulardii). In vitro and in vivo tests were carried out to compare cell wall hydrophobicity, production of antagonistic substances, survival capacity in the gastrointestinal tract of germ-free mice without pathological consequence, and immune modulation by stimulation of Küpffer cells, intestinal sIgA and IL-10 levels. In vitro antagonism against pathogenic bacteria and yeast was only observed for the probiotic bacteria B. animalis and L. casei. The hydrophobic property of the cell wall was higher for B. animalis and E. coli EMO, and this property could be responsible for a better ability to colonize the gastrointestinal tract of germ-free mice. Higher levels of sIgA were observed mainly for S. boulardii, followed by E. coli EMO and B. animalis, and only S. boulardii induced a significant higher level of IL-10. In conclusion, for a probiotic use, S. boulardii presented better characteristics in terms of immunomodulation, and B. animalis and L. casei for antagonistic substance production. The knowledge of the different probiotic properties could be used to choice the better microorganism depending on the therapeutic or prophylactic application.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibiosis
  • Bacterial Adhesion
  • Bifidobacterium / immunology
  • Bifidobacterium / physiology*
  • Cell Wall / physiology
  • Colony Count, Microbial
  • Escherichia coli / immunology
  • Escherichia coli / physiology*
  • Germ-Free Life
  • Immunoglobulin A / immunology
  • Interleukin-10 / immunology
  • Intestines / microbiology
  • Kupffer Cells / immunology
  • Lactobacillus casei / immunology
  • Lactobacillus casei / physiology*
  • Mice
  • Probiotics*
  • Saccharomyces / immunology
  • Saccharomyces / physiology*


  • Immunoglobulin A
  • Interleukin-10