Research of the human gut microbiome has confirmed the presence of phylogenetically diverse bacterial species with health-promoting effects and potential of faecal microbiota transplantation as long-term engraftment of the patients gut microbiota. Microbiota present on mucosal and skin surfaces also impacting the interactions along the gut-liver-brain axis. According to the results of our research, selected and functionally characterized autochthonous strains of lactic acid bacteria (LAB), isolated either from the breast milk microbiota or artisanal fermented food, have a huge potential as a next-generation of probiotics . They produce specific macromolecules such as surface S-layer proteins (Slps), bacteriocins, exopolysaccharides (EPS) and proteolytic enzymes, which are associated with their probiotic activities. Slps and EPS contribute to the stress-resistant properties of the producer cells during biotechnological production by freeze-drying as well as during gastrointestinal transit, and adherence in the colon, with potential immunomodulatory activity. Additionally, EPS are also prebiotic substrates for the gut microbiota – producers of short-chain fatty acids and lactate, metabolites with antibacterial and immunomodulatory activity, energy supply for the enterocytes, and the modulation of cholesterol and lipid metabolism. Bacteriocins, Slps and EPS promote competitive exclusion of pathogens, whereas bacteriocins and biopeptides-released upon the proteolytic activity, display antimicrobial activities. Biopeptides have also shown anti-inflammatory, ACE-inhibitory and antioxidant activities. Selected LAB strains have promising applications, ranging from the design of future functional food, food supplements or live biotherapeutic products. The impact of next-generation probiotics and prebiotics on human microbiota balance will be further defined through an advanced meta-omics approach and data analysis by new bioinformatics algorithms and analysis tools.
This work was supported by the Croatian Science Foundation – projects IP-2019-04-2237; IP-2014-09-7009.
Reference K. Butorac, M. Banić, J. Novak, A. Leboš Pavunc, K. Uroić, K. Durgo, N. Oršolić, M. Kukolj, S. Radović, S. Scalabrin, J. Žučko, A. Starčević, J. Šušković, B. Kos, Microb. Cell Fact. 19 (2020) 106.
CV: Rođena je 1968. godine u Zagrebu, Hrvatska. Akademske stupnjeve: dipl. ing. (1992.), magistar znanosti (1996.) i doktor biotehničkih znanosti, pod mentorstvom prof. dr. sc. Jagode Šušković (2001.), stekla je na Prehrambeno-biotehnološkom fakultetu (PBF-u) Sveučilišta u Zagrebu. Radno iskustvo: od 1992. je zaposlena u Laboratoriju za tehnologiju antibiotika, enzima, probiotika i starter kultura, Zavoda za biokemijsko inženjerstvo na PBF-u gdje radi kao redoviti profesor u trajnom zvanju. Pedagoške aktivnosti: Od 1992. godine podučava studente preddiplomskih, diplomskih i poslijediplomskih studija na PBF-u, kao i internacionalnog preddiplomskog studija „Blue Economy and Growth“ (EU-CONEXUS Minor programmes), diplomskog studija “Molecular and Industrial Biotechnology” (Sveučilište Insubria) i „Prehrambeno inženjerstvo“ (Sveučilište u Mostaru). Bila je mentor 6 doktorskih radova. Istraživačke aktivnosti: Bila je suradnik i voditelj na projektima financiranim iz nacionalnih i internacionalnih fondova, od industrije, kao i u okviru Znanstvenog centra izvrsnosti BioProCro. Bibliografija: Publicirani znanstveni radovi su joj citirani u Web of Science više od 1600 puta, a h-indeks iznosi 21. Dodatno: Suradnica je Akademije tehničkih znanosti Hrvatske. Više je puta nagrađivana za svoja istraživanja mehanizma djelovanja, modulacije crijevne mikrobiote domaćina, biotehnološke proizvodnje i primjene probiotika i funkcionalnih starter kultura.
CV: Blaženka Kos was born in 1968, in Zagreb, Croatia. She graduated and obtained engineer title in 1992, received her MSc degree in 1996 and PhD degree under the mentorship of prof. Jagoda Šušković in 2001 at Faculty of Food Technology and Biotechnology (FFTB), University of Zagreb. Work experience: Since 1992 she is employed in Laboratory of antibiotic, enzyme, probiotic and starter culture technologies, Department of biochemical engineering, at FFTB, where she currently works as a full professor having a tenure. Pedagogical activity: Since 1992 she is involved in education of undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students at FFTB, as well as on the international undergraduate study „Blue Economy and Growth“ (EU-CONEXUS Minor programmes), on the graduate study „Molecular and Industrial Biotechnology“ (University of Insubria) and “Food Engineering” (University of Mostar). She has mentored 6 PhD Theses. Research activities: As a researcher or leader, she has actively participated in projects funded through various national and international funding agencies and industries, and through Centre of Excellence – BioProCro. Bibliography: The scientific merit of her publication output is corroborated by more than 1600 citations with the current WoS measured h-index of 21. Additionally: She is associate of the Croatian Academy of Engineering. She was several times awarded for her achievements in research of mode of action, modulation of the intestinal microbiota of the host, biotechnological production and application of probiotics and functional starter cultures.