Probiotic Bacteria & Gastrointestinal Microbiology

Last changed: 04 April 2018

The gastrointestinal microbiota is extremely complex and individual, and undoubtedly has a great impact on the well being of the host. Investigations of the composition of the intestinal microbiota are important parts of studies of the effect of the diet (including probiotics) on the host, but also for identifying correlations between the microbiota and different intestinal disorders.

Investigations of the global composition of the microbiota as well as individual bacteria are important parts of our research and both culture independent and culture dependent methods are used.

Lactobacilli have been used for thousands of years to perform spontaneous fermentation of food and feed, but many of them are also part of the gastrointestinal microbiota. Today some lactobacilli are explored as probiotics, which means that they can give positive health effects when they are ingested. A variety of beneficial effects have been reported to be associated with the consumption of probiotics and the primary challenge for research within this field is now to verify health effects through good clinical studies and to explain the mechanisms of action behind probiotic effects. Another important challenge is to develop improved probiotic products. We do research on the probiotic bacterium Lactobacillus reuteri and our studies are focused on the genetics, physiology and ecology of this bacterium. We are also studying the behaviour and impact of L. reuteri in different models.

Lactobacillus reuteri counteract colitis in DSS treated rats. The bacteria also maintains a functional mucosal barrier during DSS treatment, but does not affect the microbial composition and mucus layer dysfunction (Dicksved et al, 2012).

Group members

Stefan Roos, Associate professor

Hans Jonsson, Associate professor

Shokoufeh Karimi, PhD student

Anton Pallin, PhD student

Associated to the group

Johan Dicksved, Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Department of Animal Nutrition and Management

We collaborate with the Swedish biotech company BioGaia AB.

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Contact

stefan.roos@slu.se, 018 - 67 33 82

Page editor: cajsa.lithell@slu.se