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Potential probiotics from faecal specimens of breastfed Nigerian infants as a therapy for bacterial gastroenteritis


Adenike A O Ogunshe ,

Lecturer, Applied Microbiology and Infectious Diseases Unit, University of Ibadan, Ibadan,, NG
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Abiodun I Sanni,

Professor, Food Microbiology Unit, Department of Botany & Microbiology, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, NG
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Daniel K Olukoya

Research Scientist, Genetics Unit, Nigeria Institute for Medical Research, P.M.B. 2013, Yaba, Lagos
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Objective: To investigate the possibility of isolating indigenous probiotic strains from faecal specimens of breastfed infants.

 Method: One hundred and sixty four Lactobacillus strains [Lb. reuteri 72 (43.9%), Lb. casei 40 (24.4%), Lb. acidophilus 35 (21.3%), Lb. bifidus 11 (6.71 %), Lb. brevis 3 (1.83 %) and Lb. plantarum 3 (1.83 %] isolated from fresh, faecal specimens of 57 healthy, breastfed Nigerian infants and children <12 months old were assayed for in vitro inhibitory potentials against reference and gastroenteritic bacterial strains, using the modified agar spot and agar well-diffusion methods.  

 Results: Twenty six (15.9%) of the Lactobacillus strains at 24 hours and 36 months of storage were inhibitory in vitro towards all the gastroenteritic and reference bacteria (Bacillus cereus, Bacillus licheniformis, Citrobacter species, Enterobacter aerogenes, Escherichia coli, Klebsiella aerogenes, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Morganella morganii, Proteus mirabilis, Proteus vulgaris, Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Salmonella enterica var. typhi, Salmonella enterica var. paratyphi, Salmonella enterica var. typhimurium, Salmonella sp., Shigella dysenteriae, Shigella flexneri, Staphylococcus aureus and Yersinia enterocolitica); while only 7 (4.3%) strains were inhibitory at 60 months of storage. The finally selected Lb. reuteri CH1 strain, which was inhibitory against all the indicator and reference bacteria, even at 60 months of storage, also had the lowest antibiotic resistance (23.3%), survived 3% bile and simulated pH conditions of 3.0-9.5.

Conclusions: Potential gastroenteriticidal Lactobacillus probiotic strains with longer shelf-life can be obtained from breastfed faecal specimens of Nigerian infants, more especially children above 5 months old.

 (Keywords: Breastfeeding; child health; gastroenteritis; infant mortality; Lactobacillus; probiotics)

Sri Lanka Journal of Child Health, 2011; 40(3): 116-124

DOI:  (This DOI was corrected on 4/11/2011 so please use this version to refer to this article)

How to Cite: Ogunshe, A.A.O., Sanni, A.I. and Olukoya, D.K., 2011. Potential probiotics from faecal specimens of breastfed Nigerian infants as a therapy for bacterial gastroenteritis. Sri Lanka Journal of Child Health, 40(3), pp.116–124. DOI:
Published on 08 Sep 2011.
Peer Reviewed


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