Variability in Probiotic Formulations Revealed by Proteomics and Physico-chemistry Approach in Relation to the Gut Permeability


Variability in the efficacy, safety, and quality of probiotic formulations depends on many factors, including process conditions used by manufacturers. Developing reliable analytical tools is therefore essential to quickly monitor manufacturing differences in probiotic samples for their quality assessment. Here, multi-strain probiotics from two production sites and countries were investigated by proteomics and physico-chemistry approaches in relation to the protective effect on gut barrier. Proteomic analyses showed differences in protein abundances, identities, and origins of two series of VSL#3 samples from different sites. Even though both formulations were qualitatively similar in thermal and colloidal profiles, significant differences were quantitatively observed in terms of maximum decomposition temperature Tmax (p < 0.05) and phase transition temperature Tm (p < 0.01). Such variability in physical and biochemical features impacts on probiotic functionalities and translates into a differential modulation of gut permeability in mice. Physico-chemical scans provide coherent data with proteomics and represent a new tool for time and cost effective quality control of probiotic-based products.

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We acknowledge Mrs. Lynn Doran for DSC and TGA analyses at the Laboratory of Food Sciences and Formulation in Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech (BE). The authors wish to thank Prof. Claudio De Simone, the inventor of the De Simone Formulation, US patent 5,716,615.

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Correspondence to H. Razafindralambo.

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Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have received no financial support for this study. The proteomic analysis by Creative Proteomic was commissioned by Prof. C. de Simone.

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This study was conducted in agreement with the Italian law, and the protocol was approved by the Ethics Committee and by a National Committee of Ministry of Health (permission no. 1126/2016-PR).

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Razafindralambo, H., Correani, V., Fiorucci, S. et al. Variability in Probiotic Formulations Revealed by Proteomics and Physico-chemistry Approach in Relation to the Gut Permeability. Probiotics & Antimicro. Prot. 12, 1193–1202 (2020).

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  • Thermal decomposition
  • Transition phase
  • Colloidal properties
  • Intestinal permeability
  • Multistrain probiotics