Probiotics, DNA based technologies and Bioinformatics



The human body has about 37,000 billion cells according to the latest estimates. But it would be simplistic to consider our body as a single element. Indeed, our body is also an environment hosting 10 times more microorganisms than human cells. The skin, mucous membranes, respiratory and digestive tratcs are the parts that harbor biodiversity. These microbes can play several roles for our bodies: protection, hydration, degradation, etc. In herbivores, they are for example essential for digestion and assimilation of nutrients.

Probiotics are microbes whose activity has a positive effect on our health. In the diet, they can promote intestinal transit and improve our resistance against some infections. However, to be active after their consumption in a product, these microorganisms must undergo several steps. First, they must survive the passage of the mouth (saliva has lysozyme degrading bacterial walls) and the stomach acid with pH that can reach 2. Microbes that can cross these barriers are called gastroresistant. Then once in the gut, they must still be able to adhere to human cells or their extracellular matrix. They also have to fight against other organisms already present to access certain ecological niches. The quantity and quality of probiotics are therefore critical to ensuring this positive effect on our health.

DNA-based technologies applied to probiotics

Molecular biology methods, such as sequencing or DNA amplification, allow exploring the genome of these organisms in order to characterize and identify target features. Today in a booming sector, it is crucial to be able to describe precisely ferments corresponding to years of breeding works, to ensure their protection against competition. It is also possible to monitor these target features (lipase, etc.) during the production processes to check their presence and conservation.

The contribution of Bioinformatics

Bioinformatics provides modeling and Big Data approaches to this strategy by exploiting scientific data accumulated since the 80’s. It is an ideal tool to manage a study before the laboratory manipulations in order to better master the R&D costs.

Our solution #Biomanda Search also allows you to extract genetic information from the scientific literature and patents to conduct a comprehensive technology watch.