Preliminary safety evaluation of a new Bacteroides xylanisolvens isolate

Appl Environ Microbiol. 2012 Jan;78(2):528-35. doi: 10.1128/AEM.06641-11. Epub 2011 Nov 18.


Besides conferring some health benefit to the host, a bacterial strain must present an unambiguous safety status to be considered a probiotic. We here present the preliminary safety evaluation of a new Bacteroides xylanisolvens strain (DSM 23964) isolated from human feces. First results suggest that it may be able to provide probiotic health benefits. Its identity was confirmed by biochemical analysis, by sequencing of its 16S rRNA genes, and by DNA-DNA hybridization. Virulence determinants known to occur in the genus Bacteroides, such the bft enterotoxin and other enzymatic activities involved in the degradation of the extracellular matrix and the capsular polysaccharide PS A, were absent in this strain. The investigation of the antibiotic susceptibility indicated that strain DSM 23964 was sensitive to metronidazole, meropenem agents, and clindamycin. Resistance to penicillin and ampicillin was identified to be conferred by the β-lactamase cepA gene and could therefore be restored by adding β-lactamase inhibitors. The localization of the cepA gene in the genome of strain DSM 23964 and the absence of detectable plasmids further suggest that a transfer of β-lactamase activity or the acquisition of other antibiotic resistances are highly improbable. Taken together, the presented data indicate that the strain B. xylanisolvens DSM 23964 has no virulence potential. Since it also resists the action of gastric enzymes and low-pH conditions, this strain is an interesting candidate for further investigation of its safety and potential health-promoting properties.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology
  • Bacterial Typing Techniques
  • Bacteroides / classification
  • Bacteroides / genetics
  • Bacteroides / isolation & purification
  • Bacteroides / pathogenicity*
  • Cluster Analysis
  • DNA, Bacterial / chemistry
  • DNA, Bacterial / genetics
  • DNA, Ribosomal / chemistry
  • DNA, Ribosomal / genetics
  • Feces / microbiology
  • Humans
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Nucleic Acid Hybridization
  • Phylogeny
  • Plasmids
  • Probiotics / adverse effects*
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S / genetics
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA
  • Virulence Factors / genetics
  • beta-Lactamases / metabolism


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • DNA, Bacterial
  • DNA, Ribosomal
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S
  • Virulence Factors
  • beta-Lactamases