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Bifidobacterium longum

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Bifidobacterium longum
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Bacteria
Phylum: Actinomycetota
Class: Actinomycetia
Order: Bifidobacteriales
Family: Bifidobacteriaceae
Genus: Bifidobacterium
B. longum
Binomial name
Bifidobacterium longum
Reuter 1963 (Approved Lists 1980)[1]
Representative morphologic characteristics of B. longum subsp. longum strains

Bifidobacterium longum is a Gram-positive, catalase-negative, rod-shaped bacterium present in the human gastrointestinal tract and one of the 32 species that belong to the genus Bifidobacterium.[2][3] It is a microaerotolerant anaerobe and considered to be one of the earliest colonizers of the gastrointestinal tract of infants.[2] When grown on general anaerobic medium, B. longum forms white, glossy colonies with a convex shape.[4] B. longum is one of the most common bifidobacteria present in the gastrointestinal tracts of both children and adults.[5] B. longum is non-pathogenic, is often added to food products,[2][6] and its production of lactic acid is believed to prevent growth of pathogenic organisms.[7]


In 2002, three previously distinct species of Bifidobacterium, B. infantis, B. longum, and B. suis, were unified into a single species named B. longum with the biotypes infantis, longum, and suis, respectively.[8] This occurred as the three species had extensive DNA similarity including a 16S rRNA gene sequence similarity greater than 97%.[9] In addition, the three original species were phenotypically difficult to distinguish due to different carbohydrate fermentation patterns among strains of the same species.[2] As probiotic activity varies among strains of B. longum, interest exists in the exact classification of new strains, although this is made difficult by the high gene similarity between the three biotypes.[10] Currently, strain identification is done through polymerase chain reaction (PCR) on the subtly different 16S rRNA gene sequences.[10]


B. longum colonizes the human gastrointestinal tract, where it, along with other Bifidobacterium species, represents up to 90% of the bacteria of an infant's gastrointestinal tract.[3] This number gradually drops to 3% in an adult's gastrointestinal tract as other enteric bacteria such as Bacteroides and Eubacterium begin to dominate.[7] Some strains of B. longum were found to have high tolerance for gastric acid and bile, suggesting that these strains would be able to survive the gastrointestinal tract to colonize the lower small and large intestines.[6][11] The persistence of B. longum in the gut is attributed to the glycoprotein-binding fimbriae structures and bacterial polysaccharides, the latter of which possess strong electrostatic charges that aid in the adhesion of B. longum to intestinal endothelial cells.[2][12] This adhesion is also enhanced by the fatty acids in the lipoteichoic acid of the B. longum cell wall.[12]


B. longum is considered to be a scavenger, possessing multiple catabolic pathways to use a large variety of nutrients to increase its competitiveness among the gut microbiota.[7] Up to 19 types of permease exist to transport various carbohydrates with 13 being ATP-binding cassette transporters.[13] B. longum has several glycosyl hydrolases to metabolise complex oligosaccharides for carbon and energy.[3] This is necessary as mono- and disaccharides have usually been consumed by the time they reach the lower gastrointestinal tract where B. longum resides.[2] In addition, B. longum can uniquely ferment galactomannan-rich natural gum using glucosaminidases and alpha-mannosidases that participate in the fermentation of glucosamine and mannose, respectively.[2] The high number of genes associated with oligosaccharide metabolism is a result of gene duplication and horizontal gene transfer, indicating that B. longum is under selective pressure to increase its capability to compete for various substrates in the gastrointestinal tract.[2] Furthermore, B. longum possesses hydrolases, deaminases, and dehydratases to ferment amino acids.[2] B. longum also has bile salt hydrolases to hydrolyze bile salts into amino acids and bile acids. The function of this is not clear, although B. longum could use the amino acids products to better tolerate bile salts.[14]


A number of cases of B. longum infection have been reported in the scientific literature. These are primarily cases in preterm infants that are undergoing probiotic treatment,[15][16][17] although there are also reports of infection in adults.[18][19][20] Infection in preterm infants manifests as bacteremia or necrotizing enterocolitis,[21] while in adults there have been reports of sepsis and peritonitis.[18][20]


B. longum is a constituent in VSL#3.

Immune system regulation[edit]

The use of B. longum was shown to shorten the duration and minimize the severity of symptoms associated with the common cold with a similar effect to that of neuraminidase inhibitors for influenza.[22]

Bifidobacterium longum 35624[edit]

Bifidobacterium longum ssp. longum 35624, previously classified as Bifidobacterium longum ssp. infantis 35624, classified as Bifidobacterium infantis 35624 before that and still marketed as such. It is sold under the brand name Align in the US and Canada and Alflorex in Ireland, the UK and other European countries. It is patented. This strain was isolated directly from the epithelium of the terminal ileum of a healthy human subject, and is one of the most researched probiotic strains.[23] Large scale clinical trials have shown that the strain is effective in controlling the symptoms of IBS including bloating, diarrhoea, abdominal pain and discomfort.[24]

Bifidobacterium longum BB536[edit]

Bifidobacterium longum BB536 was discovered in the intestines of healthy breastfed infants in 1969.[25] It is often used in nutritional supplement. In some small clinical trials, it has been shown to help defecation and relieve lactose intolerance symptoms.[26][27]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Parte, A.C. "Bifidobacterium". LPSN.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i Schell, M. A.; Karmirantzou, M.; Snel, B.; Vilanova, D.; Berger, B.; Pessi, G.; Zwahlen, M. -C.; Desiere, F.; Bork, P.; Delley, M.; Pridmore, R. D.; Arigoni, F. (2002). "The genome sequence of Bifidobacterium longum reflects its adaptation to the human gastrointestinal tract". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 99 (22): 14422–14427. Bibcode:2002PNAS...9914422S. doi:10.1073/pnas.212527599. PMC 137899. PMID 12381787.
  3. ^ a b c Garrido, D.; Ruiz-Moyano, S.; Jimenez-Espinoza, R.; Eom, H. J.; Block, D. E.; Mills, D. A. (2013). "Utilization of galactooligosaccharides by Bifidobacterium longum subsp. Infantis isolates". Food Microbiology. 33 (2): 262–270. doi:10.1016/j.fm.2012.10.003. PMC 3593662. PMID 23200660.
  4. ^ Young Park, Shin; Lee, Do Kyung; Mi An, Hyang; Gyeong Cha, Min; Baek, Eun Hae; Rae Kim, Jung; Lee, Si Won; Kim, Mi Jin; Lee, Kang Oh; Joo Ha, Nam (1 July 2011). "Phenotypic and genotypic characterization of Bifidobacterium isolates from healthy adult Koreans". Iranian Journal of Biotechnology. 9 (3): 173–180. CiteSeerX
  5. ^ Pasolli, Edoardo; Schiffer, Lucas; Manghi, Paolo; Renson, Audrey; Obenchain, Valerie; Truong, Duy Tin; Beghini, Francesco; Malik, Faizan; Ramos, Marcel; Dowd, Jennifer B; Huttenhower, Curtis; Morgan, Martin; Segata, Nicola; Waldron, Levi (November 2017). "Accessible, curated metagenomic data through ExperimentHub". Nature Methods. 14 (11): 1023–1024. doi:10.1038/nmeth.4468. PMC 5862039. PMID 29088129.
  6. ^ a b Yazawa, Kazuyuki; Fujimori, Minoru; Amano, Jun; Kano, Yasunobu; Taniguchi, Shun'ichiro (February 2000). "Bifidobacterium longum as a delivery system for cancer gene therapy: Selective localization and growth in hypoxic tumors". Cancer Gene Therapy. 7 (2): 269–274. doi:10.1038/sj.cgt.7700122. PMID 10770636. S2CID 7375660.
  7. ^ a b c Yuan, Jing; Zhu, Li; Liu, Xiankai; Li, Ting; Zhang, Ying; Ying, Tianyi; Wang, Bin; Wang, Junjun; Dong, Hua; Feng, Erling; Li, Qiang; Wang, Jie; Wang, Hongxia; Wei, Kaihua; Zhang, Xuemin; Huang, Cuifeng; Huang, Peitang; Huang, Liuyu; Zeng, Ming; Wang, Hengliang (June 2006). "A Proteome Reference Map and Proteomic Analysis of Bifidobacterium longum NCC2705". Molecular & Cellular Proteomics. 5 (6): 1105–1118. doi:10.1074/mcp.M500410-MCP200. PMID 16549425.
  8. ^ Sakata, Shinji; Kitahara, Maki; Sakamoto, Mitsuo; Hayashi, Hidenori; Fukuyama, Masafumi; Benno, Yoshimi (1 November 2002). "Unification of Bifidobacterium infantis and Bifidobacterium suis as Bifidobacterium longum". International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology. 52 (6): 1945–1951. doi:10.1099/00207713-52-6-1945. PMID 12508852.
  9. ^ Mattarelli, P.; Bonaparte, C.; Pot, B.; Biavati, B. (1 April 2008). "Proposal to reclassify the three biotypes of Bifidobacterium longum as three subspecies: Bifidobacterium longum subsp. longum subsp. nov., Bifidobacterium longum subsp. infantis comb. nov. and Bifidobacterium longum subsp. suis comb. nov". International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology. 58 (4): 767–772. doi:10.1099/ijs.0.65319-0. PMID 18398167.
  10. ^ a b Šrůtková, Dagmar; Španova, Alena; Špano, Miroslav; Dráb, Vladimír; Schwarzer, Martin; Kozaková, Hana; Rittich, Bohuslav (October 2011). "Efficiency of PCR-based methods in discriminating Bifidobacterium longum ssp. longum and Bifidobacterium longum ssp. infantis strains of human origin". Journal of Microbiological Methods. 87 (1): 10–16. doi:10.1016/j.mimet.2011.06.014. PMID 21756944.
  11. ^ Xiao, J.Z.; Kondo, S.; Takahashi, N.; Miyaji, K.; Oshida, K.; Hiramatsu, A.; Iwatsuki, K.; Kokubo, S.; Hosono, A. (July 2003). "Effects of Milk Products Fermented by Bifidobacterium longum on Blood Lipids in Rats and Healthy Adult Male Volunteers". Journal of Dairy Science. 86 (7): 2452–2461. doi:10.3168/jds.S0022-0302(03)73839-9. PMID 12906063.
  12. ^ a b Abbad Andaloussi, S.; Talbaoui, H.; Marczak, R.; Bonaly, R. (November 1995). "Isolation and characterization of exocellular polysaccharides produced by Bifidobacterium longum". Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology. 43 (6): 995–1000. doi:10.1007/BF00166915. PMID 8590666. S2CID 10837355.
  13. ^ Parche, S.; Amon, J.; Jankovic, I.; Rezzonico, E.; Beleut, M.; Barutçu, H.; Schendel, I.; Eddy, M. P.; Burkovski, A.; Arigoni, F.; Titgemeyer, F. (2007). "Sugar Transport Systems of Bifidobacterium longum NCC2705". Journal of Molecular Microbiology and Biotechnology. 12 (1–2): 9–19. doi:10.1159/000096455. PMID 17183207. S2CID 21532161.
  14. ^ Tanaka, H.; Hashiba, H.; Kok, J.; Mierau, I. (2000). "Bile salt hydrolase of Bifidobacterium longum-biochemical and genetic characterization". Applied and Environmental Microbiology. 66 (6): 2502–2512. Bibcode:2000ApEnM..66.2502T. doi:10.1128/aem.66.6.2502-2512.2000. PMC 110569. PMID 10831430.
  15. ^ Zbinden, Andrea; Zbinden, Reinhard; Berger, Christoph; Arlettaz, Romaine (2015). "Case Series of Bifidobacterium longum Bacteremia in Three Preterm Infants on Probiotic Therapy" (PDF). Neonatology. 107 (1): 56–59. doi:10.1159/000367985. PMID 25402825. S2CID 33816095.
  16. ^ Esaiassen, Eirin; Cavanagh, Pauline; Hjerde, Erik; Simonsen, Gunnar S.; Støen, Ragnhild; Klingenberg, Claus (September 2016). "Subspecies Bacteremia in 3 Extremely Preterm Infants Receiving Probiotics". Emerging Infectious Diseases. 22 (9): 1664–1666. doi:10.3201/eid2209.160033. PMC 4994345. PMID 27532215.
  17. ^ Bertelli, Claire; Pillonel, Trestan; Torregrossa, Anaïs; Prod'hom, Guy; Fischer, Céline Julie; Greub, Gilbert; Giannoni, Eric (15 March 2015). "Bifidobacterium longum Bacteremia in Preterm Infants Receiving Probiotics". Clinical Infectious Diseases. 60 (6): 924–927. doi:10.1093/cid/ciu946. PMID 25472946.
  18. ^ a b Ha, Gyoung Yim; Yang, Chang Heon; Kim, Heesoo; Chong, Yunsop (April 1999). "Case of Sepsis Caused by Bifidobacterium longum". Journal of Clinical Microbiology. 37 (4): 1227–1228. doi:10.1128/JCM.37.4.1227-1228.1999. ISSN 0095-1137. PMC 88684. PMID 10074561.
  19. ^ Wilson, Heather L.; Ong, Chong Wei (October 2017). "Bifidobacterium longum vertebrodiscitis in a patient with cirrhosis and prostate cancer". Anaerobe. 47: 47–50. doi:10.1016/j.anaerobe.2017.04.004. PMID 28408274.
  20. ^ a b Tena, Daniel; Losa, Cristina; Medina, María José; Sáez-Nieto, Juan Antonio (June 2014). "Peritonitis caused by Bifidobacterium longum: Case report and literature review". Anaerobe. 27: 27–30. doi:10.1016/j.anaerobe.2014.03.005. PMID 24657157.
  21. ^ Zbinden, Andrea; Zbinden, Reinhard; Berger, Christoph; Arlettaz, Romaine (2015). "Case Series of Bifidobacterium longum Bacteremia in Three Preterm Infants on Probiotic Therapy" (PDF). Neonatology. 107 (1): 56–59. doi:10.1159/000367985. PMID 25402825. S2CID 33816095.
  22. ^ De Vrese, M.; Winkler, P.; Rautenberg, P.; Harder, T.; Noah, C.; Laue, C.; Ott, S.; Hampe, J.; Schreiber, S.; Heller, K.; Schrezenmeir, J. R. (2005). "Effect of Lactobacillus gasseri PA 16/8, Bifidobacterium longum SP 07/3, B. Bifidum MF 20/5 on common cold episodes: A double blind, randomized, controlled trial". Clinical Nutrition. 24 (4): 481–491. doi:10.1016/j.clnu.2005.02.006. PMID 16054520.
  23. ^ "Bifantis (Bifidobacterium infantis 35624) – Professional Monograph" (PDF). Procter & Gamble. 2007. Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 March 2017. Retrieved 4 January 2018.
  24. ^ Whorwell, Peter J; Altringer, Linda; Morel, Jorge; Bond, Yvonne; Charbonneau, Duane; O'Mahony, Liam; Kiely, Barry; Shanahan, Fergus; Quigley, Eamonn M M (July 2006). "Efficacy of an Encapsulated Probiotic Bifidobacterium infantis 35624 in Women with Irritable Bowel Syndrome". The American Journal of Gastroenterology. 101 (7): 1581–1590. doi:10.1111/j.1572-0241.2006.00734.x. PMID 16863564. S2CID 3352959.
  25. ^ Minami, Miki; Tsuji, Shoji; Akagawa, Shohei; Akagawa, Yuko; Yoshimoto, Yuki; Kawakami, Hirosato; Kohno, Mamiko; Kaneko, Kazunari (2022-11-15). "Effect of a Bifidobacterium-Containing Acid-Resistant Microcapsule Formulation on Gut Microbiota: A Pilot Study". Nutrients. 14 (22): 4829. doi:10.3390/nu14224829. ISSN 2072-6643. PMC 9693766. PMID 36432516.
  26. ^ Takeda, Tsutomu; Asaoka, Daisuke; Nojiri, Shuko; Yanagisawa, Naotake; Nishizaki, Yuji; Osada, Taro; Koido, Shigeo; Nagahara, Akihito; Katsumata, Noriko; Odamaki, Toshitaka; Xiao, Jin-Zhong; Ohkusa, Toshifumi; Sato, Nobuhiro (March 2023). "Usefulness of Bifidobacterium longum BB536 in Elderly Individuals With Chronic Constipation: A Randomized Controlled Trial". American Journal of Gastroenterology. 118 (3): 561–568. doi:10.14309/ajg.0000000000002028. ISSN 0002-9270. PMC 9973440. PMID 36216361.
  27. ^ Vitellio, Paola; Celano, Giuseppe; Bonfrate, Leonilde; Gobbetti, Marco; Portincasa, Piero; De Angelis, Maria (2019-04-19). "Effects of Bifidobacterium longum and Lactobacillus rhamnosus on Gut Microbiota in Patients with Lactose Intolerance and Persisting Functional Gastrointestinal Symptoms: A Randomised, Double-Blind, Cross-Over Study". Nutrients. 11 (4): 886. doi:10.3390/nu11040886. ISSN 2072-6643. PMC 6520754. PMID 31010241.

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