Erakina

Lactobacillus timonensis – A Gut Bacteria

Published Date : June 7, 2022

Lactobacillus timonensis species belong to the genus Lactobacillus found in humans’ gastrointestinal tract, which functions as a probiotic. 

Violet colored rod-shaped structures

Lactobacillus timonensis belonging to the lactobacillus genre, was discovered in 2017 in France from the human stool. This bacteria was estimated to be located in the human gastrointestinal tract. This gut bacteria is a probiotic bacteria similar to other lactobacillus species; a good bacteria. There are two primary functions of probiotic bacteria; protect the gastrointestinal tract, and produce lactic acid as an end product. There are multiple lactobacillus bacteria included in the category of probiotic bacteria. These bacterias work together to protect the walls of the gastrointestinal tract. Probiotics are necessary for the body as they enable enhanced absorption of nutrients and proper bowel movements. If the body does not have the required amount of probiotics, they can be consumed through dairy products. These dairy products are fermented using necessary probiotic bacteria to help with the digestion process. However, intake of a high amount of probiotics will not cause any serious side effects, instead they cause bloating, stomach upset, and gas. 

Overview of Lactobacillus timonensis

In 2017, a new species, Lactobacillus timonensis was isolated from a stool sample of a healthy woman in France. The process of isolating the bacteria commenced by first removing that vegetative matter from the stool using 70% ethanol. The bacteria were then isolated in 5% sheep blood with Columbia agar incubated at 37°C under anaerobic conditions and supplemented with rumen fluid (5%) after pre-incubating for three days. The bacterial culture was observed to be greyish. The bacterial cells were observed to be non-motile, rod-shaped, gram-positive, non-spore forming bacteria. The optimal growth of this bacterial strain was under anaerobic conditions for 48 hours of incubation at 37°C (also ranging from 28°C-45°C) with pH 6.5-8.5.

The bacteria could also grow under microaerophilic conditions (conditions containing low oxygen levels). They do not have catalase, an enzyme responsible for hydrolyzing hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) to produce oxygen and water. This new species has not been recorded as homofermentative, i.e., it generates only a single end product after glucose metabolism. Although lactobacillus species are known to be homofermentative, further research is to study the significant role of Lactobacillus timonensis in humans. 

Transparent glass containing a brown liquid and white spots

The initial species name for this bacteria was Strain Marseille-P3825, later renamed Lactobacillus timonensis (Hospital in France where the strain was isolated – Timone). When the researchers tried to identify the sequences using a Microflex spectrometer, the bacteria strain showed 96.13% similarity in sequence identity with Lactobacillus frumenti species. Therefore the Strain Marseille-P3825 was classified under the genus Lactobacillus; hence this new species was renamed Lactobacillus timonensis

Role of Lactobacillus timonensis

A Detailed investigation into the functions of Lactobacillus timonensis has not been carried out. However, this bacteria falling into the category of lactobacillus genre establishes basic functions displayed by most lactobacillus bacterial species. Lactobacillus timonensis was found in the human stool, located in the gut. One of the roles of this bacteria is to protect the gastrointestinal walls just like other lactobacillus species. There are harmful pathogens that are present in the gastrointestinal tract as they provide an optimal environment for the pathogens to grow. These pathogens damage the inner layer of the gastrointestinal wall, thereby causing gastrointestinal diseases, and reducing the absorptive strength of the tract. 

Blue colored rod-shaped structures

Lactobacillus timonensis along with other lactobacillus species protects the mucosa present in the inner layer of the gastrointestinal wall by providing a barrier along the tract. The harmful pathogens are incapable of damaging the gastrointestinal wall. Mucosa which is responsible for absorbing nutrients, hence is protected. Damaging the mucosa will decrease the absorption rate of the gastrointestinal tract. Furthermore, Lactobacillus timonensis helps to break down the food, and regulate the immune system. Probiotics are important for healthy well-being, if there are inadequate probiotics then supplements are available to replenish these probiotics. 

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