The aim of this study was to isolate, from pulque, Lactobacillus spp. capable of survival in simulated gastrointestinal stress conditions. Nine Gram-positive rods were isolated; however, only one strain (J57) shared identity with Lactobacillus and was registered as Lactobacillus casei J57 (GenBank accession: JN182264). The other strains were identified as Bacillus spp. The most significant observation during the test of tolerance to simulated gastrointestinal conditions (acidity, gastric juice and bile salts) was that L. casei J57 showed a rapid decrease (p ≤ 0.05) in the viable population at 0 h. Bile salts were the stress condition that most affected its survival, from which deoxycholic acid and the mix of bile salts (oxgall) were the most toxic. L. casei J57 showed bile salt hydrolase activity over primary and secondary bile salts as follows: 44.91, 671.72, 45.27 and 61.57 U/mg to glycocholate, taurocholate, glycodeoxycholate and taurodeoxycholate. In contrast, the control strain (L. casei Shirota) only showed activity over tauroconjugates. These results suggest that L. casei J57 shows potential for probiotic applications.
Keywords: Bile salt hydrolase; Lactobacillus; Probiotics; Pulque.