Safety Evaluation of Oral Care Probiotics Weissella cibaria CMU and CMS1 by Phenotypic |and Genotypic Analysis

Int J Mol Sci. 2019 May 31;20(11):2693. doi: 10.3390/ijms20112693.


Weissella cibaria CMU and CMS1 are known to exert beneficial effects on the oral cavity but have not yet been determined to be generally recognized as safe (GRAS), although they are used as commercial strains in Korea. We aimed to verify the safety of W. cibaria CMU and CMS1 strains through phenotypic and genotypic analyses. Their safety was evaluated by a minimum inhibitory concentration assay for 14 antibiotics, DNA analysis for 28 antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) and one conjugative element, antibiotic resistance gene transferability, virulence gene analysis, hemolysis, mucin degradation, toxic metabolite production, and platelet aggregation reaction. W. cibaria CMU showed higher kanamycin resistance than the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) cut-off, but this resistance was not transferred to the recipient strain. W. cibaria CMU and CMS1 lacked ARGs in chromosomes and plasmids, and genetic analysis confirmed that antibiotic resistance of kanamycin was an intrinsic characteristic of W. cibaria. Additionally, these strains did not harbor virulence genes associated with pathogenic bacteria and lacked toxic metabolite production, β-hemolysis, mucin degradation, bile salt deconjugation, β-glucuronidase, nitroreductase activity, gelatin liquefaction, phenylalanine degradation, and platelet aggregation. Our findings demonstrate that W. cibaria CMU and CMS1 can achieve the GRAS status in future.

Keywords: Weissella cibaria; antibiotic resistance; oral care; probiotics; safety.

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology
  • Drug Resistance, Bacterial
  • Genes, Bacterial
  • Genome, Bacterial
  • Genomics / methods
  • Genotype*
  • Hemolysis
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Mucins / metabolism
  • Oral Health*
  • Phenotype*
  • Platelet Aggregation
  • Probiotics / administration & dosage*
  • Probiotics / adverse effects
  • Virulence Factors / genetics
  • Weissella / drug effects
  • Weissella / physiology*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Mucins
  • Virulence Factors