Indian Journal of Microbiology

, Volume 59, Issue 1, pp 39–50 | Cite as

Characterization of a Newly Isolated Probiotic Strain from Oecophylla smaragdina, an Edible Insect Popular Among the Indigenous Communities of Northeast India

  • Debajit BorahEmail author
  • Pronami Gogoi
  • Dipti Agarwal
  • Ankita Khataniar
Original Research Article


Northeast India is amongst the 34 Biodiversity Hot Spots of the world with large number of unexplored flora and fauna. A total of 74 potential isolates with probiotic properties were isolated from Oecophylla smaragdina, an edible insect used by local tribes as a nutritious medicinal food source out of which, the most potential probiotic candidate was identified as Bacillus sp. PD6 by 16S rRNA sequencing. Cell surface trait analysis shows hydrophobicity and auto-aggregation percentage of 46.2 ± 0.32% and 61.41 ± 0.28% respectively. The cell free extract (CFE) of the isolate shows the presence of essential amino acids viz, lysine, valine, leucine, isoleucine, and threonine indicating its nutritional value. It survives significantly at pH range from 1 to 10 and capable of hydrolyzing bile salt. The CFE shows antagonistic effect against B. cereus ATCC 11778, E. coli ATCC 25922 and L. monocytogenes ATCC BAA751. FTIR spectra of bacterial exo-polysaccharide shows the presence of νC=C–H stretch, νN–H stretch, νC–H stretch, νC–H bending and νC=O stretch bonds. It was found to be non-cytotoxic against primary mouse liver cell line and sheep erythrocytes and also, sensitive against wide range of broad and narrow spectrum antibiotics making it recommendable for human consumption.


Edible insect Oecophylla smaragdina Probiotic Cytotoxicity assay Antagonistic effect Bacillus sp. PD6 



The author acknowledges Department of Biotechnology (DBT-HRD), Govt. of India (Grant No. BT/04/NE/2009) for providing infrastructure facilities at Centre for Biotechnology and Bioinformatics, Dibrugarh University, DBT-BIF facility (Grant no. BT/BI/13/035/2017), DBT-Delcon facilities for providing access to online journals and departmental Animal Cell Culture facility to carry out cytotoxicity assay. Author also acknowledges Pentavalent Bio Sciences Pvt. Ltd., Bangalore for providing 16S rRNA sequencing services.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

All authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Association of Microbiologists of India 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Debajit Borah
    • 1
    Email author
  • Pronami Gogoi
    • 2
  • Dipti Agarwal
    • 1
  • Ankita Khataniar
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Biotechnology and BioinformaticsDibrugarh UniversityDibrugarhIndia
  2. 2.Department of MicrobiologyAssam Medical College and HospitalDibrugarhIndia

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