Genomic and phenotypic evidence for probiotic influences of Lactobacillus gasseri on human health


Correspondence: Todd R. Klaenhammer, Southeast Dairy Foods Research Center, Department of Food, Bioprocessing & Nutrition Sciences, North Carolina State University, 339 Schaub Hall, 400 Dan Allen Dr., Box 7624, Raleigh, NC 27695, USA. Tel.: 919 515 2972; fax: 919 513 0014; e-mail:


Certain lactic acid bacteria (LAB) have the capacity to occupy mucosal niches of humans, including the oral cavity, gastrointestinal tract, and vagina. Among commensal, LAB are species of the acidophilus complex, which have proven to be a substantial reservoir for microorganisms with probiotic attributes. Specifically, Lactobacillus gasseri is an autochthonous microorganism which has been evaluated for probiotic activity based on the availability of genome sequence and species-specific adaptation to the human mucosa. Niche-related characteristics of L. gasseri contributing to indigenous colonization include tolerance of low pH environments, resistance to bile salts, and adhesion to the host epithelium. In humans, L. gasseri elicits various health benefits through its antimicrobial activity, bacteriocin production, and immunomodulation of the innate and adaptive systems. The genomic and empirical evidence supporting use of L. gasseri in probiotic applications is substantiated by clinical trial data displaying maintenance of vaginal homeostasis, mitigation of Helicobacter pylori infection, and amelioration of diarrhea.