A probiotic is commonly defined as any live microorganism that, when administered, confers a health benefit on the host. The commercialised probiotics currently available for consumer use are derived from a fairly limited number of organisms. However, increasing understanding of the microbiome is leading to the development of new probiotics and pharmaceutical modes of delivery.
Live Biotherapeutic Products
The development of next generation probiotics and methods of administering them has created a new range of live biotherapeutic products (LBPs). These can be defined as organisms used specifically for medical application*.
Probiotics and LBPs Research Applications
The primary application of probiotics used to be within gastrointestinal health. However, new generations of probiotics and LBPs have broadened the use of bacteria for the prevention and treatment for a wide range of diseases and health conditions.
Our Services for Probiotics and LBPs
Tracking and understanding colonization of probiotics and live biotherapeutic strains in the gut microbiome requires the ability to distinguish ingested strains from endogenous strains of the same species.
Our method for determining the relative abundance of specific strains is based on identification of discriminative single nucleotide variants (SNVs). This method can be used to determine colonization potential and persistence of strains by filtering noise from closely related strains. This helps refining correlations between biomarkers and the abundance of probiotics and biotherapeutic strains.
In addition to tracking and measuring abundances, our bioinformatics solutions can also assist in helping our partners resolve many other specific research questions, including:
- measuring how probiotics and LBPs affect the microbiome
- understanding whether pre-intervention microbiome factors determine responders and non-responders
- analyzing correlations to clinical outcomes
- developing a mechanistic understanding of how different probiotic strains work.
Oksana Lukjancenko, PhD, Senior Bioinformatician, Microbiome
Oksana works as science lead for many of our shotgun metagenomics projects for probiotics. Please reach out if you would like to discuss your study or learn more about the microbiome analysis services we offer for probiotic studies.