Honeybee-associated lactic acid bacteria and their probiotic potential for human use

World J Microbiol Biotechnol. 2022 Nov 8;39(1):2. doi: 10.1007/s11274-022-03427-w.


This study aims to identify lactic acid bacteria (LAB) isolated from honeybees (Apis mellifera workers and larvae) in detail and to determine their functional probiotic properties. A total of 11 strains were classified based on morphological and biochemical characteristics. Preliminary probiotic properties of strains, that were molecularly identified using 16 S rRNA, such as antimicrobial activity, tolerance to digestive conditions, aggregation ability, were investigated. The antimicrobial properties of strains were tested against a wide range of human pathogens. All strains that showed γ-hemolysis and did not contain bacteriophages were considered safe. The strains' survivability checked for 0.3% bile and 3.0-7.8 pH contents was promising. The highest autoaggregation ranged from 14.7 to 30.76% after 4 h. Tested LAB strains markedly exhibited coaggregation with Listeria monocytogenes and Escherichia coli. According to the results, tested bacteria showed significant antagonistic effects against pathogens, and positive probiotic characteristics compatible with in vitro gastrointestinal tract conditions. The results suggest that Apis mellifera LAB symbionts may have a probiotic potential, and be effective and safe candidates for human use. This study provides an addition to the development of the current knowledge by defining in detail honeybee-associated bacteria and determining their probiotic potential.

Keywords: Antimicrobial activity; Apis mellifera; Honeybee larvae; Lactic acid bacteria; Probiotic properties.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Bees
  • Humans
  • Lactobacillales* / genetics
  • Listeria monocytogenes*
  • Probiotics*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents