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Heyndrickxia coagulans

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Heyndrickxia coagulans
Gram stain of Heyndrickxia coagulans
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Bacteria
Phylum: Bacillota
Class: Bacilli
Order: Bacillales
Family: Bacillaceae
Genus: Heyndrickxia
H. coagulans
Binomial name
Heyndrickxia coagulans
(Hammer 1915) Narsing Rao et al. 2023
  • Bacillus coagulans (Approved Lists 1980) emend. De Clerck et al. 2004
  • Lactobacillus sporogenes in Bergey's fifth ed.
  • Weizmannia coagulans (Hammer, 1915) Gupta et al., 2020

Heyndrickxia coagulans (formerly Bacillus coagulans) is a lactic acid–forming bacterial species. This species was transferred to Weizmannia in 2020,[1] then to Heyndrickxia in 2023.[2]



H. coagulans is a Gram-positive, catalase-positive, spore-forming, motile, facultative anaerobe rod that measures approximately 0.9 μm by 3.0 μm to 5.0 μm. It may appear Gram negative when entering the stationary phase of growth. The optimum temperature for growth is 50 °C (122 °F); the range of temperatures tolerated is 30–55 °C (86–131 °F). IMViC tests VP and MR (methyl red) are positive.

Taxonomic history


The species was first isolated and described in 1915 by B.W. Hammer at the Iowa Agricultural Experiment Station as a cause of an outbreak of coagulation in evaporated milk packed by an Iowa condensary.[3] Separately isolated in 1935 and described as Lactobacillus sporogenes in the fifth edition of Bergey's Manual of Systematic Bacteriology, it exhibits characteristics typical of both genera Lactobacillus and Bacillus; its taxonomic position between the families Lactobacillaceae and Bacillaceae was often debated. However, in the seventh edition of Bergey's, it was finally transferred to the genus Bacillus. DNA-based technology was used in distinguishing between the two genera of bacteria, which are morphologically similar and possess similar physiological and biochemical characteristics.[4][5]

In 2020, further genetic evidence shows that it is sufficiently different from other members of Bacillus to be transferred into its own genus. As a result, it became the type species of Weizmannia.[1] In 2023, even further genetic evidence shows that Weizmannia was not sufficiently distinct from Heyndrickxia to be an independent genus; as a result, all members of Weizmannia was moved to Heyndrickxia.[2]



H. coagulans has been added by the EFSA to their Qualified Presumption of Safety list[6] and has been approved for veterinary purposes as GRAS by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Center for Veterinary Medicine, as well as by the European Union, and is listed by AAFCO for use as a direct-fed microbial in livestock production. It is often used in veterinary applications, especially as a probiotic in pigs, cattle, poultry, and shrimp. Many references to use of this bacterium in humans exist, especially in improving the vaginal flora,[7][8][9] improving abdominal pain and bloating in irritable bowel syndrome patients,[10] and increasing immune response to viral challenges.[11] There is evidence from animal research that suggests that H. coagulans is effective in both treating as well as preventing recurrence of Clostridium difficile associated diarrhea.[12] Further, one animal research study showed that it can alter inflammatory processes in the context of multiple sclerosis.[13] One strain of this bacterium has also been assessed for safety as a food ingredient.[14] Spores are activated in the acidic environment of the stomach and begin germinating and proliferating in the intestine. Sporeforming H. coagulans strains are used in some countries as probiotics for patients on antibiotics.



H. coagulans is often marketed as Lactobacillus sporogenes or a 'sporeforming lactic acid bacterium' probiotic, but this is an outdated name due to taxonomic changes in 1939. Although H. coagulans does produce L+lactic acid, the bacterium used in these products is not a lactic-acid bacterium, as Bacillaceae species do not belong to the lactic acid bacteria (Lactobacillales). By definition, lactic acid bacteria (Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium) do not form spores. Therefore, using the name Lactobacillus sporogenes is scientifically incorrect.[4][15]

The 2023 name H. coagulans is nowhere as common as the former name Bacillus coagulans. The former name remains valid under the Prokaryotic Code.


  • Hong HA, Duc LH, Cutting SM (2005). "The use of bacterial spore formers as probiotics". FEMS Microbiology Reviews. 29 (4): 813–835. doi:10.1016/j.femsre.2004.12.001. PMID 16102604.


  1. ^ a b Gupta RS, Patel S, Saini N, Chen S (2020-11-01). "Robust demarcation of 17 distinct Bacillus species clades, proposed as novel Bacillaceae genera, by phylogenomics and comparative genomic analyses: description of Robertmurraya kyonggiensis sp. nov. and proposal for an emended genus Bacillus limiting it only to the members of the Subtilis and Cereus clades of species". International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology. 70 (11): 5753–5798. doi:10.1099/ijsem.0.004475. ISSN 1466-5026. PMID 33112222.
  2. ^ a b Narsing Rao MP, Banerjee A, Liu GH, Thamchaipenet A (July 2023). "Genome-based reclassification of Bacillus acidicola, Bacillus pervagus and the genera Heyndrickxia, Margalitia and Weizmannia". International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology. 73 (7). doi:10.1099/ijsem.0.005961. PMID 37462355.
  3. ^ Hammer, B. W. 1915. Bacteriological studies on the coagulation of evaporated milk. Iowa Agric. Exp. Stn. Res. Bull. 19:119-131
  4. ^ a b "Lactobacillus sporogenes a probiotioc species ?". www.food-info.net.
  5. ^ "Official list of bacterial names". Archived from the original on 2007-10-30. Retrieved 2007-11-02.
  6. ^ "The maintenance of the list of QPS microorganisms intentionally added to food or feed". Scientific Opinion of the Panel on Biological Hazards. 6 April 2017.
  7. ^ Sanders ME, Morelli L, Tompkins TA (2003). "Sporeformers as Human Probiotics: Bacillus, Sporolactobacillus, and Brevibacillus". Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety. 2 (3): 101–110. doi:10.1111/j.1541-4337.2003.tb00017.x. PMID 33451235.
  8. ^ Hong, Duc & Cutting 2005
  9. ^ "LACTOBACILLUS SPOROGENES OR BACILLUS COAGULANS: MISIDENTIFICATION OR MISLABELLING?" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-11-05. Retrieved 2007-01-16.
  10. ^ Hun L (2009). "Bacillus coagulans significantly improved abdominal pain and bloating in patients with IBS". Postgraduate Medicine. 121 (2): 119–124. doi:10.3810/pgm.2009.03.1984. PMID 19332970. S2CID 7698543.
  11. ^ Baron M (2009). "A patented strain of Bacillus coagulans increased immune response to viral challenge". Postgraduate Medicine. 121 (2): 114–118. doi:10.3810/pgm.2009.03.1971. PMID 19332969. S2CID 38408989.
  12. ^ Fitzpatrick L (Aug 2013). "Probiotics for the treatment of Clostridium difficile associated disease". World J Gastrointest Pathophysiol. 4 (3): 47–52. doi:10.4291/wjgp.v4.i3.47. PMC 3740259. PMID 23946887.
  13. ^ Sadeghirashed S, Kazemi F, Taheri S, Ebrahimi MT, Arasteh J (2021-11-10). "A novel probiotic strain exerts therapeutic effects on mouse model of multiple sclerosis by altering the expression of inflammasome and IDO genes and modulation of T helper cytokine profile". Metabolic Brain Disease. 37 (1): 197–207. doi:10.1007/s11011-021-00857-7. ISSN 0885-7490. PMID 34757579. S2CID 243939724.
  14. ^ Endres JR, Clewell A, Jade KA, Farber T, Hauswirth J, Schauss AG (2009). "Safety assessment of a proprietary preparation of a novel Probiotic, Bacillus coagulans, as a food ingredient". Food and Chemical Toxicology. 47 (6): 1231–1238. doi:10.1016/j.fct.2009.02.018. PMC 2726964. PMID 19248815.
  15. ^ Sanders ME, Morelli L, Bush S (14 August 2001). "Lactobacillus sporogenes Is Not a Lactobacillus Probiotic". ASM News. 67 (8). Archived from the original on 2013-05-20. Retrieved 2022-09-10.