There has been rapid progress in the characterization of a large number of probiotic species and their strains from the genus Bifidobacterium in the last two decades. This has given rise to the subsequent interest in the scientific community and commercialization of the strains for their ability as probiotics to render essential health benefits. The members of the bifidobacteria are natural inhabitant of the GI tract in humans and other animals and are gram (+) in nature.
The genus discovered at the beginning of this century has gained significant importance as key component of human-microbial commensal relationships. They are believed to play critical role in the maintenance of the health of the human gastrointestinal tract. Although the importance of the bifidobacteria in maintaining our well being is now being generally accepted but their molecular mode of action in providing the due beneficial effects is far from being delineated.
However, the genome sequencing of some of the key members of the genus is now available and it can just be the starting step in the right direction to understand the bacteria and their probiotic role in the maintenance of human health. A deeper understanding of the strains in this genus and their diversity in tolerating extreme physiological pressure and conditions can allow us to put the specific strain in use in specific cases of health complications. [Read more…]