color = lightgrey
name = "Lactobacillus"

image_width = 240px
image_caption = "Lactobacillus" bacteria (around vaginal squamous epithelial cells)
regnum = Bacteria
divisio = Firmicutes
classis = Bacilli
ordo = Lactobacillales
familia = Lactobacillaceae
genus = "Lactobacillus"
genus_authority = Beijerinck 1901
subdivision_ranks = Species
subdivision ="L. acetotolerans "
"L. acidifarinae "
"L. acidipiscis "
"L. acidophilus "
"L. agilis "
"L. algidus"
"L. alimentarius "
"L. amylolyticus "
"L. amylophilus "
"L. amylotrophicus "
"L. amylovorus "
"L. animalis "
"L. antri "
"L. apodemi "
"L. aviarius "
"L. bifermentans "
"L. brevis "
"L. buchneri "
"L. camelliae "
"L. casei "
"L. catenaformis "
"L. ceti "
"L. coleohominis "
"L. collinoides "
"L. composti "
"L. concavus "
"L. coryniformis "
"L. crispatus "
"L. crustorum "
"L. curvatus "
"L. delbrueckii"
"L. delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus"
"L. delbrueckii subsp. lactis "
"L. diolivorans"
"L. equi "
"L. equigenerosi "
"L. farraginis "
"L. farciminis"
"L. fermentum "
"L. fornicalis "
"L. fructivorans "
"L. frumenti "
"L. fuchuensis "
"L. gallinarum "
"L. gasseri"
"L. gastricus "
"L. ghanensis "
"L. graminis "
"L. hammesii "
"L. hamsteri "
"L. harbinensis "
"L. hayakitensis "
"L. helveticus "
"L. hilgardii "
"L. homohiochii "
"L. iners "
"L. ingluviei"
"L. intestinalis "
"L. jensenii "
"L. johnsonii "
"L. kalixensis "
"L. kefiranofaciens "
"L. kefiri "
"L. kimchii "
"L. kitasatonis "
"L. kunkeei "
"L. leichmannii "
"L. lindneri "
"L. malefermentans "
"L. mali "
"L. manihotivorans "
"L. mindensis "
"L. mucosae "
"L. murinus "
"L. nagelii "
"L. namurensis "
"L. nantensis "
"L. oligofermentans "
"L. oris "
"L. panis "
"L. pantheris "
"L. parabrevis "
"L. parabuchneri "
"L. paracollinoides "
"L. parafarraginis "
"L. parakefiri "
"L. paralimentarius "
"L. paraplantarum "
"L. pentosus "
"L. perolens "
"L. plantarum "
"L. pontis "
"L. psittaci "
"L. rennini "
"L. reuteri "
"L. rhamnosus "
"L. rimae "
"L. rogosae"
"L. rossiae "
"L. ruminis "
"L. saerimneri "
"L. sakei "
"L. salivarius "
"L. sanfranciscensis "
"L. satsumensis "
"L. secaliphilus "
"L. sharpeae "
"L. siliginis "
"L. spicheri "
"L. suebicus "
"L. thailandensis "
"L. ultunensis "
"L. vaccinostercus "
"L. vaginalis "
"L. versmoldensis "
"L. vini "
"L. vitulinus "
"L. zeae "
"L. zymae "

"Lactobacillus" is a genus of Gram-positive facultative anaerobic or microaerophilic bacteria [ [ Non Nutrient Factors Affecting Growth ] ] . They are a major part of the lactic acid bacteria group, named as such because most of its members convert lactose and other sugars to lactic acid. They are common and usually benign. In humans they are present in the vagina and the gastrointestinal tract, where they are symbiotic and make up a small portion of the gut flora. Many species are prominent in decaying plant material. The production of lactic acid makes its environment acidic which inhibits the growth of some harmful bacteria. Several members of the genus have had their genome sequenced.cite book |author= Ljungh A, Wadstrom T (editors)| year=2009 |title=Lactobacillus Molecular Biology: From Genomics to Probiotics | publisher=Caister Academic Press | id= ISBN 978-1-904455-41-7]

Food production

Some "Lactobacillus" species are used industrially for the production of yogurt, cheese, sauerkraut, pickles, beer, wine, cider, kimchi, chocolate and other fermented foods, as well as animal feeds, such as silage. Sourdough bread is made using a "starter culture" which is a symbiotic culture of yeast and lactic acid bacteria growing in a water and flour medium. Lactobacilli, especially "L. casei" and "L. brevis", are some of the most common beer spoilage organisms.The species operate by lowering the pH of the fermenting substance by creating the lactic acid, neutralising it to the desired extent.

Probiotics and biotherapeutics

"Lactobacillus" spp. and other lactic acid bacteria possess numerous potential therapeutic properties including anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer activities and other features of interest. Research studies have demonstrated the protective effects of these bacteria for anti-tumor and anti-cancer effects. Dietary administration alleviated the risks of certain types of cancers and suppressed colonic tumor incidence, volume and multiplicity induced by various carcinogens. Oral administration effectively reduced DNA adduct formation, ameliorated DNA damage and prevented putative preneoplastic lesions such as aberrant crypt foci induced by chemical carcinogens in the gastrointestinal tract. Reports also indicated that cultures administered to animals inhibited liver, colon, bladder and mammary tumors, highlighting potential systemic effects of probiotics with anti-neoplastic activities.cite book |author= Ljungh A, Wadstrom T (editors)| year=2009 |title=Lactobacillus Molecular Biology: From Genomics to Probiotics | publisher=Caister Academic Press | id= ISBN 978-1-904455-41-7]


The genus "Lactobacillus" currently consists of over 125 species and encompasses a wide variety of organisms. The genus is polyphyletic, with the genus "Pediococcus" dividing the "L. casei" group, and the species "L. acidophilus", "L. salivarius", and "L. reuteri" being representatives of three distinct subclades. The genus Paralactobacillus falls within the L. salivarius group. In recent years, other members of the genus "Lactobacillus" (formerly known as the Leuconostoc branch of Lactobacillus) have been reclassified into the genera "Atopobium", "Carnobacterium", "Weissella", "Oenococcus", and "Leuconostoc".

Dental cavities

Although considered beneficial, some "Lactobacillus" species have been associated with dental caries. [] "Lactobacillus" count in saliva has been used as a "caries test" for many years. [] This is one of the arguments used in support of the use of fluoride in toothpaste and lozenges. []


Many lactobacilli are unusual in that they operate using homofermentative metabolism (that is, they produce only lactic acid from sugars) and are aerotolerant despite the complete absence of a respiratory chain. This aerotolerance is manganese-dependent and has been explored (and explained) in "Lactobacillus plantarum". Many lactobacilli do not require iron for growth and have an extremely high hydrogen peroxide tolerance.

According to metabolism, "Lactobacillus" species can be divided into three groups:

* Obligately homofermentative (Group I)
** "L. acidophilus", "L. delbrueckii", "L. helveticus", "L. salivarius"
* Facultatively heterofermentative (Group II)
** "L. casei", "L. curvatus", "L. plantarum", "L. sakei"
* Obligately heterofermentative (Group III)
** "L. brevis", "L. buchneri", "L. fermentum", "L. reuteri"


* Tomas James Rees, Cranfield University, 1997. The development of a novel antifungal silage inoculant. [ PhD Thesis (HTML)]
* The Ohio State University Food Science and Technology Department. Lactic Acid Bacteria - Carbohydrate and Protein Metabolism. [ PowerPoint lecture]
* Dicks LM, Silvester M, Lawson PA, Collins MD (2000). "Lactobacillus fornicalis" sp. nov., isolated from the posterior fornix of the human vagina. [ Abstract] , [ PDF file]

See also

*Lactic acid bacteria

External links

* [ List of species of the genus Lactobacillus]

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  • lactobacillus — [lak΄tō bə sil′əs] n. pl. lactobacilli [lak΄tō bə sil′ī΄] [ModL < LACTO + BACILLUS] any of a genus (Lactobacillus) of bacteria that ferment milk, carbohydrates, etc., producing lactic acid and carbon dioxide: found as saprophytes or as… …   English World dictionary

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  • Lactobacillus — Lactobacille Lactobacilles …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Lactobacillus —   Lactobacillus …   Wikipedia Español

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  • Lactobacillus — Literally milk bacteria, normally found in the mouth, intestinal tract, and vagina. Lactobacillus can also live in fermenting products, such as yogurt. Humans appear to have a symbiotic relationship with this bacteria: it’s been with us so long… …   Medical dictionary

  • lactobacillus — ● lactobacille ou lactobacillus nom masculin Genre bactérien caractérisé par des bacilles Gram positif, constituants essentiels de la flore bactérienne digestive des mammifères. (Certaines souches sont utilisées pour la fabrication du yaourt.) ●… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • lactobacillus — /ˌlæktoʊbəˈsɪləs/ (say .laktohbuh siluhs) noun (plural lactobacilli /ˌlæktoʊbəˈsɪlaɪ/ (say .laktohbuh siluy)) any bacterium of the genus Lactobacillus, a group of aerobic, long, slender rods which produce large amounts of lactic acid in the… …  

  • lactobacillus —    A genus of gram positive, acid resistant bacteria in the Lactobacillaceae family.    We know of lactobacillus because of its use in making yogurt and the conventional wisdom of taking it in one form or another after antibiotic therapy, but it… …   Herbal-medical glossary

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