Servizio Comunitario di Informazione in materia di Ricerca e Sviluppo - CORDIS

A polyphasic database for probiotic strains

Information collected from the in vitro and in vivo tests during the DEPROHEALTH project served as a basis to establish an interactive polyphasic database, implemented on BioNumerics software(Applied Maths BVBA, Belgium) which allows to:

- determine ranges for each parameter measured,
- identify links between parameters measured (useful in revealing possible mechanisms of activity) and
- facilitate future comparison of probiotic strains with
- the potential to predict relevant functionalities.

Possible application:
The comparison of the results obtained after screening for some critical parameters to a database of well-known reference strains (supported by literature data or clinical information) may be indicative for potential functionality.

This results for the producer in:
- An early detection of less performing strains, saving money through the use of relatively simple in vitro or in vivo techniques and helping to focus clinical trials.
- Early orientation during the preparation of the scientific dossier of a probiotic strain; again saving time and costs.
- Clear referencing of the position of their own strains in the range covered by other probiotic strains (reference strain identity can be kept anonymous at any time).

For the consumer this means:
- A probiotic strain with better performance.
- To be assured to consume a strain with a scientific dossier, build on a sound screening approach.
- Less contradictory information and more robust claims for specific applications.

Limitations:
- The value of this database is linked to the use of standardised laboratory methods. Using these established methodologies it is possible to investigate new or existing strains. However, although the intra-laboratory reproducibility was evaluated, the inter-laboratory reproducibility of the methods used has not sufficiently been studied at this stage. This can limit the current portability of the database as part of a wider laboratory network.
- For some of the currently used techniques, a final validation by a specific clinical trial is desirable. This trial should ideally compare a placebo to 2 strains with opposite properties (according to the screening protocol used). The outcome of the clinical trial should confirm the predicted efficiency. Strains successfully used in the past for a particular application can be compared with strains that have not been used successfully before. Unless clearly explainable, the results of the 'a posteriori' screening test should not be in disagreement with former clinical findings.

Dissemination and use potential:
- Despite the uncertainty of the current portability of the database as part of a wider laboratory network, implementation in a service activity at one single institute (for industry, consumer organisations, etc...), is surely feasible and can be implemented immediately.
- When inter-laboratory reproducibility permits, the use of specialised software such as BNServer, directly linked to the database, allows external laboratories to link to a central database, which will automatically perform identification and reporting of ranges for any particular test. The software exists (several applications known) and can be configured to allow registered, password protected and encrypted access and, based on a log system can prepare for invoicing.
- The current 'probiotic' functionality can be extended to include safety parameters, technological (fermentation, organoleptic) or even clinical parameters.
- The databasing potential, when demonstrated for 'probiotics' can be extended to other food microorgansims, including food pathogens and possibly linked to existing European initiatives (e.g. food safety issues: Workpackage 4 in Med-Vet-Net, the EnterNet (http://www.hpa.org.uk/hpa/inter/enter-net_ menu.htm), the SalmGene (http://www.salmgene.net/) and ListerNet (http://www.invs.sante.fr/publications/2004/listernet).)

Current status
The database has been created. An initial set of data has been loaded (commercial and scientific reference strains). A possible partner, willing to implement the BNServer part has been identified.

Financing is needed for:
- setting up the proper login and safety scripts,
- testing inter-laboratory reproducibility,
- extending the database with strains and experimental protocols to cover a wider potential of probiotic characteristics (lab partners have been identified for safety parameters and for technological parameters).

Current status
The database has been created. An initial set of data has been loaded (commercial and scientific reference strains). A possible partner, willing to implement the BNServer part has been identified.

As the result of an EOI (Standardisation of screening- and evaluation tools for probiotic safety and functionality assessement, ProbioStandard) a large number of interested laboratories have been identfied.

(Community) financing is needed for:
- testing inter-laboratory reproducibility;
- extending the database with strains and experimental protocols to cover a wider potential of probiotic characteristics (lab partners have been identified for safety parameters and for technological parameters);
- buying and setting up the software with proper login and safety scripts.

The comparison of the results obtained after screening for some critical parameters to a database of well-known reference strains (supported by literature data or clinical information) may be indicative for potential functionality. This results for the producer in:
- An early detection of less performing strains, saving money through the use of relatively simple in vitro or in vivo techniques and helping to focus clinical trials.
- Early orientation during the preparation of the scientific dossier of a probiotic strain; again saving time and costs.
- Clear referencing of the position of new strains in the range covered by other probiotic strains (reference strain identity can be kept anonymous at any time, allowing industry to estimate chances of success upon commercialisation.

For the consumer this means:
- a probiotic strain with better performance,
- to be assured to use a strain with a scientific dossier, build on a sound screening approach
- more robust claims for strains that are targeted to a specific application.

(Community) financing is needed for:
- testing inter-laboratory reproducibility (minimum set of high quality laboratories with long time relevant experience; many potential labs identified through former EOI ProbioStandard).
- extending the database with strains and experimental protocols to cover a wider potential of probiotic characteristics (lab partners have been identified for safety parameters and for technological parameters).
- buying and setting up the software with proper login and safety scripts (SME has been identified).

Informazioni correlate

Reported by

Institut Pasteur Lille
1, Rue Prof Calmette
59019 Lille
France
See on map