Ability of bifidobacteria to metabolize chitin-glucan and its impact on the gut microbiota

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Alessandri, Giulia
Milani, Christian
Duranti, Sabrina
Mancabelli, Leonardo
Ranjanoro, Thibaut
Modica, Salvatore
Carnevali, Luca
Statello, Rosario
Bottacini, Francesca
Turroni, Francesca
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Chitin-glucan (CG) represents a natural carbohydrate source for certain microbial inhabitants of the human gut and may act as a prebiotic for a number of bacterial taxa. However, the bifidogenic activity of this substrate is still unknown. In the current study, we evaluated the ability of chitin-glucan to influence growth of 100 bifidobacterial strains belonging to those species commonly identified within the bifidobacterial communities residing in the infant and adult human gut. Such analyses were coupled with transcriptome experiments directed to explore the transcriptional effects of CG on Bifidobacterium breve 2L, which was shown to elicit the highest growth performance on this natural polysaccharide. In addition, an in vivo trial involving a rat model revealed how the colonization efficiency of this bifidobacterial strain was enhanced when the animals were fed with a diet containing CG. Altogether our analyses indicate that CG is a valuable novel prebiotic compound that may be added to the human diet in order to re-establish/reinforce bifidobacteria colonization in the mammalian gut.
Chitin-glucan (CG) , Bifidobacteria , Gut microbiota
Alessandri, G., Milani, C., Duranti, S., Mancabelli, L., Ranjanoro, T., Modica, S., Carnevali, L., Statello, R., Bottacini, F., Turroni, F. and Ossiprandi, M.C., 2019. Ability of bifidobacteria to metabolize chitin-glucan and its impact on the gut microbiota. Scientific reports, 9(1), (5755). DOI:10.1038/s41598-019-42257-z