Probiotics and Biotechnology
Bacteria are present in the gut of every one. Some of these are harmful while others are beneficial for the health of host. Normally the percentage of beneficial bacteria is more but due to antibiotic treatment and other stress conditions the balance shifts towards the harmful bacteria. Such a condition is called Dysbiosis and needs the treatment of Probiotics.
Probiotics are “live microorganisms which when administered in adequate amounts confer a health benefit on the host". Examples are Lactic acid bacteria (LAB), Bifidiobacteria, yeast and bacilli sp. The food that is beneficial for the growth of Probiotics is called Prebiotics is mostly oligosaccharides. Probiotics and Prebiotics are combinely called synbiotics.
Metchnikoff was the first one who observes that it is possible to modify the gut flora. He observed that proteolytic bacteria like clostridia, produce toxic substances that cause aging but lactic acid bacteria can inhibit the growth of proteolytic bacteria. Henery Tissure isolate theBifidiobacterium bifidium from brest fed infants and he recommend these for diarrhial infected children. These protect by displacing proteolytic bacteria. Kollath use the term Probiotics for the microbially derived factors that stimulate growth.
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Probiotics are the beneficial microorganisms that are beneficial to the human being through certain aspects. Lactic Acid bacteria help in managing lactose intolerance. These bacteria convert lactose into digestible lactic acid. Some of the other benefits of Probiotics are as follow:
* Lowering the cholesterol level by break down the bile in the gut.
* Lowering the blood pressure by the production of ACE-Inhibitor like peptides.
* Protect from Infections by competitive inhibition and improving immune system of the host.
* Lactobacillus bulgaricus shows anti carcinogenic activity by decreasing the activity of β-glucuronidase.
* Block the adhesion site for the pathogens.
* Probiotics provide the antagonistic enviornment for the pathogens.
A good probiotic should have the following properties.
Invitro adherence to the epithelial cells and anti-microbial activity. Should have resistant to bile, HCl and pancreatic juice. Immune modulation and GIT colonization. Probiotics are available in the form of dairy products, food, tablets and sachets in the market, with pescribed composition of probiotic microorganisms.
Probiotics Biotechnology helps to overcome the different problems faced during their formulation into usable form. Like, stress during formulation, adjustment in new environment and to compete with existing bacteria in the body. The field of biotechnology that deals with the pathogens modifications is called Patho-Biotechnology. First goal of the biotechnology is to improve external stress tolerance, like tempreture and water. Naturally microorganism do this by accumalating compatible solute e.g betaine and trehalose. These solutes stabilized the proteins and reduce water loss. The main goal of the biotecnology is to produce compatible solute accumalating strains, Listeria monocytogens has three natural uptake systems. BetL system has been selected which is encoded by one gene, it is betaine transporter. This gene is cloned into Lactobacillus salivarius and Positive strains shows resistant towards salts and more betaine uptake. The second goal of the biotechnology is to improve the colonization in the Gastrointestinal tract. This is acieved by cloning BetL gene into B. breve and Trehalose gene from E.coli into L.lactis. The colned strains shows tolerence to gastric juice, bile and intestinal colonization. Third goal of probiotics biotechnology is to produce the strains with increased pathogen competence. It has been observed that pathogens used oligosaccharides express on host cell as a receptors to adhere themselves. Through biotechnology approach receptor-mimic structure express strains are produce. The pathogens bind with these structures and make them harmless for host as well as probiotic strains. E.coli tha express chimeric lipopolysaccharide which is shiga toxin (Stx) receptor, only 1mg can neutralized 100ug Stx.
Inaddition to the modification of existing system, artifically engineer improved systems are also used. This technique is called Direct Evolution Approach. In this approach mutant E.coli strain XL1-Red, which lack DNA repairing system. It has mutation rate 5000 times higher than the normal strain, mutation may results into improved quality strains which are selected. Like hyperproline producing E.coli is osmotolerant, produce by the mutation in the first enzyme which results into the loss of feed back inhibition and proline overproduction.
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Normally probiotics has no side effects but may cause infection in immunosuppressive people. If probiotics are chemically contaminated may be harmfull. So, probiotics are real gift from God and we have to care for them.