Previously, our research group isolated Bifidobacterium breve IDCC4401 from infant feces as a potential probiotic. For this study, we evaluated the safety of B. breve IDCC4401 using genomic and phenotypic analyses. Whole genome sequencing was performed to identify genomic characteristics and investigate the potential presence of genes encoding virulence, antibiotic resistance, and mobile genetic elements. Phenotypic analyses including antibiotic susceptibility, enzyme activity, production of biogenic amines (BAs), and proportion of D-/L-lactate were evaluated using E-test, API ZYM test, high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), and D-/L-lactic acid assay respectively. The genome of B. breve IDCC4401 consists of 2,426,499 bp with a GC content of 58.70% and 2,016 coding regions. Confirmation of the genome as B. breve was provided by its 98.93% similarity with B. breve DSM20213. Furthermore, B. breve IDCC4401 genes encoding virulence and antibiotic resistance were not identified. Although B. breve IDCC4401 showed antibiotic resistance against vancomycin, we confirmed that this was an intrinsic feature since the antibiotic resistance gene was not present. B. breve IDCC4401 showed leucine arylamidase, cystine arylamidase, α-galactosidase, β-galactosidase, and α-glucosidase activities, whereas it did not show production of harmful enzymes such as β-glucosidase and β-glucuronidase. In addition, B. breve IDCC4401 did not produce any tyramine, histamine, putrescine, cadaverine, or 2-phenethylamine, which are frequently detected BAs during fermentation. B. breve IDCC4401 produced 95.08% of L-lactate and 4.92% of Dlactate. Therefore, our findings demonstrate the safety of B. breve IDCC 4401 as a potential probiotic for use in the food industry.
Keywords: Bifidobacterium breve; Safety evaluation; probiotics.