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Keywords:

  • compost;
  • germ-free;
  • IgA ;
  • probiotic;
  • thermophile

Abstract

Aims

The oral administration of a compost produced by the fermentation of marine animals with thermophiles confers health benefits for fish and pigs. This study aimed to isolate the beneficial bacteria from this compost that would modulate the physiological conditions of host animals.

Methods and Results

The compost extract was orally administrated to germ-free mice for 21 days, and thereafter, the culturable bacterial population within the caeca was surveyed. Sequence analyses of the 16S rRNA gene from the two predominant thermophilic isolates revealed organisms that were closely related to Bacillus thermoamylovorans and Bacillus coagulans. These bacteria could grow at 37°C, but more abundantly at 50–55°C, and they were minor components of the original compost extract. When an individual bacterial strain or a mixture of strains was administered to the conventionally maintained mice, their levels of faecal immunoglobulin A, an indicator of the gut immune response, were markedly raised. In addition, their feeding efficiency also changed among the tested mouse groups.

Conclusions

These two kinds of thermophilic bacterial species, isolated from the caeca after compost ingestion to the germ-free mice, are candidate probiotics that could function in the mammalian gut.

Significance and Impact of the Study

This study revealed that the compost used in agriculture can contain potential probiotic thermophiles.