Towards a better understanding of Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG--host interactions

Microb Cell Fact. 2014 Aug 29;13 Suppl 1(Suppl 1):S7. doi: 10.1186/1475-2859-13-S1-S7. Epub 2014 Aug 29.

Abstract

Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (LGG) is one of the most widely used probiotic strains. Various health effects are well documented including the prevention and treatment of gastro-intestinal infections and diarrhea, and stimulation of immune responses that promote vaccination or even prevent certain allergic symptoms. However, not all intervention studies could show a clinical benefit and even for the same conditions, the results are not univocal. Clearly, the host phenotype governed by age, genetics and environmental factors such as the endogenous microbiota, plays a role in whether individuals are responders or non-responders. However, we believe that a detailed knowledge of the bacterial physiology and the LGG molecules that play a key role in its host-interaction capacity is crucial for a better understanding of its potential health benefits. Molecules that were yet identified as important factors governing host interactions include its adhesive pili or fimbriae, its lipoteichoic acid molecules, its major secreted proteins and its galactose-rich exopolysaccharides, as well as specific DNA motifs. Nevertheless, future studies are needed to correlate specific health effects to these molecular effectors in LGG, and also in other probiotic strains.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Infective Agents / metabolism
  • Bacterial Adhesion
  • Fimbriae, Bacterial / physiology
  • Host-Pathogen Interactions
  • Humans
  • Intestines / microbiology
  • Lactobacillus rhamnosus / genetics
  • Lactobacillus rhamnosus / metabolism*
  • Lipopolysaccharides / metabolism
  • Polysaccharides, Bacterial / metabolism
  • Teichoic Acids / metabolism

Substances

  • Anti-Infective Agents
  • Lipopolysaccharides
  • Polysaccharides, Bacterial
  • Teichoic Acids
  • lipoteichoic acid