Bifidobacteria and humans: our special friends, from ecological to genomics perspectives

J Sci Food Agric. 2014 Jan 30;94(2):163-8. doi: 10.1002/jsfa.6356. Epub 2013 Sep 16.


Bifidobacteria are widely used as health-promoting microorganisms in many functional foods. However, the molecular mechanisms as to how these bacteria positively impact on host health are far from completely understood. For this reason these bacteria constitute a growing area of scientific interest with respect to their genomics, molecular biology and genetics. Genome sequencing of an increasing number of strains of bifidobacteria has provided access to the complete genetic make-up of many representative members of these bacteria. The aim of this review is to highlight the genetic and functional features of bifidobacteria residing in the human gastrointestinal tract using genomic and ecology-based information.

Keywords: bifidobacteria; genomics; host-microbe cross-talk.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological / genetics*
  • Bifidobacterium / genetics*
  • Ecology
  • Functional Food / microbiology*
  • Gastrointestinal Tract / microbiology*
  • Genome, Bacterial*
  • Genomics
  • Humans
  • Probiotics*