Browsing by Subject "gut microbiota"

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  • Geerlings, Sharon Y.; Kostopoulos, Ioannis; de Vos, Willem M.; Belzer, Clara (2018)
    Akkermansia muciniphila is a mucin-degrading bacterium of the phylum Verrucomicrobia. Its abundance in the human intestinal tract is inversely correlated to several disease states. A. muciniphila resides in the mucus layer of the large intestine, where it is involved in maintaining intestinal integrity. We explore the presence of Akkermansia-like spp. based on its 16S rRNA sequence and metagenomic signatures in the human body so as to understand its colonization pattern in time and space. A. muciniphila signatures were detected in colonic samples as early as a few weeks after birth and likely could be maintained throughout life. The sites where Akkermansia-like sequences (including Verrucomicrobia phylum and/or Akkermansia spp. sequences found in the literature) were detected apart from the colon included human milk, the oral cavity, the pancreas, the biliary system, the small intestine, and the appendix. The function of Akkermansia-like spp. in these sites may differ from that in the mucosal layer of the colon. A. muciniphila present in the appendix or in human milk could play a role in the re-colonization of the colon or breast-fed infants, respectively. In conclusion, even though A. muciniphila is most abundantly present in the colon, the presence of Akkermansia-like spp. along the digestive tract indicates that this bacterium might have more functions than those currently known.
  • van Soest, Annick P. M.; Hermes, Gerben D. A.; Berendsen, Agnes A. M.; van de Rest, Ondine; Zoetendal, Erwin G.; Fuentes, Susana; Santoro, Aurelia; Franceschi, Claudio; de Groot, Lisette C. P. G. M.; de Vos, Willem M. (2020)
    Dietary modulation of the gastro-intestinal microbiota is a potential target in improving healthy ageing and age-related functional outcomes, including cognitive decline. We explored the association between diet, gastro-intestinal microbiota and cognition in Dutch healthy older adults of the 'New dietary strategies addressing the specific needs of the elderly population for healthy aging in Europe' (NU-AGE) study. The microbiota profile of 452 fecal samples from 226 subjects was determined using a 16S ribosomal RNA gene-targeted microarray. Dietary intake was assessed by 7-day food records. Cognitive functioning was measured with an extensive cognitive test battery. We observed a dietary and microbial pro- to anti-inflammatory gradient associated with diets richer in animal- or plant-based foods. Fresh fruits, nuts, seeds and peanuts, red and processed meat and grain products were most strongly associated to microbiota composition. Plant-rich diets containing fresh fruits, nuts, seeds and peanuts were positively correlated with alpha-diversity, various taxa from the Bacteroidetes phylum and anti-inflammatory species, including those related to Faecalibacterium prausnitzii and Eubacterium rectale and E. biforme. Animal product-rich diets associated with pro-inflammatory species, including those related to Ruminococcus gnavus and Collinsella spp.. Cognition was neither associated with microbiota composition nor alpha-diversity. In conclusion, diets richer in animal- and plant-based foods were related to a pro- and anti-inflammatory microbial profile, while cognition was associated with neither.
  • The ADELE Research Group; Saarenpää, Mika; Roslund, Marja; Puhakka, Riikka; Grönroos, Mira; Parajuli, Anirudra; Hui, Nan; Nurminen, Noora; Laitinen, Olli H.; Hyöty, Heikki; Cinek, Ondrej; Sinkkonen, Aki (2021)
    According to the hygiene and biodiversity hypotheses, increased hygiene levels and reduced contact with biodiversity can partially explain the high prevalence of immune-mediated diseases in developed countries. A disturbed commensal microbiota, especially in the gut, has been linked to multiple immune-mediated diseases. Previous studies imply that gut microbiota composition is associated with the everyday living environment and can be modified by increasing direct physical exposure to biodiverse materials. In this pilot study, the effects of rural-second-home tourism were investigated on the gut microbiota for the first time. Rural-second-home tourism, a popular form of outdoor recreation in Northern Europe, North America, and Russia, has the potential to alter the human microbiota by increasing exposure to nature and environmental microbes. The hypotheses were that the use of rural second homes is associated with differences in the gut microbiota and that the microbiota related to health benefits are more diverse or common among the rural-second-home users. Based on 16S rRNA Illumina MiSeq sequencing of stool samples from 10 urban elderly having access and 15 lacking access to a rural second home, the first hypothesis was supported: the use of rural second homes was found to be associated with lower gut microbiota diversity and RIG-I-like receptor signaling pathway levels. The second hypothesis was not supported: health-related microbiota were not more diverse or common among the second-home users. The current study encourages further research on the possible health outcomes or causes of the observed microbiological differences. Activities and diet during second-home visits, standard of equipment, surrounding environment, and length of the visits are all postulated to play a role in determining the effects of rural-second-home tourism on the gut microbiota.
  • Hetemäki, Iivo; Jian, Ching; Laakso, Saila Marita; Mäkitie, Outi; Pajari, Anne-Maria; Vos de, Willem Meindert; Arstila, Petteri; Salonen, Anne (2021)
    Backgrounds and Aims: APECED is a rare autoimmune disease caused by mutations in the Autoimmune Regulator gene. A significant proportion of patients also have gastrointestinal symptoms, including malabsorption, chronic diarrhea, and obstipation. The pathological background of the gastrointestinal symptoms remains incompletely understood and involves multiple factors, with autoimmunity being the most common underlying cause. Patients with APECED have increased immune responses against gut commensals. Our objective was to evaluate whether the intestinal microbiota composition, predicted functions or fungal abundance differ between Finnish patients with APECED and healthy controls, and whether these associate to the patients’ clinical phenotype and gastrointestinal symptoms. Methods: DNA was isolated from fecal samples from 15 patients with APECED (median age 46.4 years) together with 15 samples from body mass index matched healthy controls. DNA samples were subjected to analysis of the gut microbiota using 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing, imputed metagenomics using the PICRUSt2 algorithm, and quantitative PCR for fungi. Extensive correlations of the microbiota with patient characteristics were determined. Results: Analysis of gut microbiota indicated that both alpha- and beta-diversity were altered in patients with APECED compared to healthy controls. The fraction of Faecalibacterium was reduced in patients with APECED while that of Atopobium spp. and several gram-negative genera previously implicated in biofilm formation, e.g. Veillonella, Prevotella, Megasphaera and Heamophilus, were increased in parallel to lipopolysaccharide (LPS) synthesis in imputed metagenomics. The differences in gut microbiota were linked to patient characteristics, especially the presence of anti-Saccharomyces cerevisiae antibodies (ASCA) and severity of gastrointestinal symptoms. Conclusions: Gut microbiota of patients with APECED is altered and enriched with predominantly gram-negative bacterial taxa that may promote biofilm formation and lead to increased exposure to LPS in the patients. The most pronounced alterations in the microbiota were associated with more severe gastrointestinal symptoms.
  • Atashgahi, Siavash; Shetty, Sudarshan A.; Smidt, Hauke; de Vos, Willem M. (2018)
    Humans and their associated microbiomes are exposed to numerous xenobiotics through drugs, dietary components, personal care products as well as environmental chemicals. Most of the reciprocal interactions between the microbiota and xenobiotics, such as halogenated compounds, occur within the human gut harboring diverse and dense microbial communities. Here, we provide an overview of the flux of halogenated compounds in the environment, and diverse exposure routes of human microbiota to these compounds. Subsequently, we review the impact of halogenated compounds in perturbing the structure and function of gut microbiota and host cells. In turn, cultivation-dependent and metagenomic surveys of dehalogenating genes revealed the potential of the gut microbiota to chemically alter halogenated xenobiotics and impact their fate. Finally, we provide an outlook for future research to draw attention and attract interest to study the bidirectional impact of halogenated and other xenobiotic compounds and the gut microbiota.
  • Hasan, Sayyid; Aho, Velma; Pereira, Pedro; Paulin, Lars; Koivusalo, Saila B.; Auvinen, Petri; Eriksson, Johan G. (2018)
    Introduction An altered gut microbiome composition is shown to be associated with various diseases and health outcomes. We compare the gut microbiota of women who developed gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) with that of those who did not, and the gut microbiota of their offspring, to determine any differences in the composition and diversity of their gut microbiota, which may be correlated with their GDM state. Material and methods All women were at high risk for GDM and participated in the Finnish Gestational Diabetes Prevention Study (RADIEL). Stool samples were obtained, 5years postpartum, from 60 GDM-positive women, 68 non-GDM control women, and their children (n=109), 237 individuals in total. 16S ribosomal RNA gene sequencing was employed to determine the composition of bacterial communities present. Statistical correlations were inferred between clinical variables and microbiota, while taking into account potential confounders. Results In mothers, no significant differences were observed in microbiota composition between the two groups. Genus Anaerotruncus was increased in children of women with GDM (p
  • Satokari, Reetta (2020)
    The so-called Western diet is rich in saturated fat and sugars and poor in plant-derived fibers, and it is associated with an increased risk of metabolic and cardiovascular diseases, as well as chronic (low grade) inflammation. The detrimental effects of poor diet are in part mediated by gut microbiota, whose composition, functionality and metabolic end products respond to dietary changes. Recent studies have shown that high intake of sugars increase the relative abundance of Proteobacteria in the gut, while simultaneously decreasing the abundance of Bacteroidetes, which can mitigate the effects of endotoxin, as well as reinforce gut barrier function. Thus, a high sugar intake may stagger the balance of microbiota to have increased pro-inflammatory properties and decreased the capacity to regulate epithelial integrity and mucosal immunity. Consequently, high dietary sugar can, through the modulation of microbiota, promote metabolic endotoxemia, systemic (low grade) inflammation and the development of metabolic dysregulation and thereby, high dietary sugar may have many-fold deleterious health effects, in addition to providing excess energy.
  • Gorokhova, Elena; El-Shehawy, Rehab; Lehtiniemi, Maiju; Garbaras, Andrius (Frontiers Research Foundation, 2021)
    Frontiers in Microbiology 11
    Toxin-producing cyanobacteria can be harmful to aquatic biota, although some grazers utilize them with often beneficial effects on their growth and reproduction. It is commonly assumed that gut microbiota facilitates host adaptation to the diet; however, the evidence for adaptation mechanisms is scarce. Here, we investigated the abundance of mlrA genes in the gut of the Baltic copepods Acartia bifilosa and Eurytemora affinis during cyanobacteria bloom season (August) and outside it (February). The mlrA genes are unique to microcystin and nodularin degraders, thus indicating the capacity to break down these toxins by the microbiota. The mlrA genes were expressed in the copepod gut year-round, being >10-fold higher in the summer than in the winter populations. Moreover, they were significantly more abundant in Eurytemora than Acartia. To understand the ecological implications of this variability, we conducted feeding experiments using summer- and winter-collected copepods to examine if/how the mlrA abundance in the microbiota affect: (1) uptake of toxic Nodularia spumigena, (2) uptake of a non-toxic algal food offered in mixtures with N. spumigena, and (3) concomitant growth potential in the copepods. The findings provide empirical evidence that the occurrence of mlrA genes in the copepod microbiome facilitates nutrient uptake and growth when feeding on phytoplankton mixtures containing nodularin-producing cyanobacteria; thus, providing an adaptation mechanism to the cyanobacteria blooms.
  • Uddin, Md Karim; Hasan, Shah Md. Kamrul; Mahmud, Md Rayhan; Peltoniemi, Olli; Oliviero, Claudio (2021)
    The weaning process represents a delicate phase for piglets, and is often characterized by lower feed intake, lower weight gain, diarrhea, and ultimately increased mortality. We aimed to determine the effects of RAC supplementation in diets on improving piglet growth and vitality, reducing post-weaning diarrhea, and enhancing gut health. In a 2 × 2 × 2 factorial experiment, we selected forty sows and their piglets. Piglets were followed until seven weeks of age. There were no significant differences found between RAC treated and control piglets until weaning (p = 0.26). However, three weeks after weaning, RAC treated piglets had higher body weight and average daily growth (ADG) than the control piglets (p = 0.003). In addition, the piglets that received RAC after weaning, irrespective of mother or prior creep feed treatment, had lower post-weaning diarrhea (PWD) and fecal myeloperoxidase (MPO) level than control piglets. Gut microbiota analysis in post-weaning piglets revealed that RAC supplementation significantly increased Lachnospiraceae_unclassified, Blautia, Butyricicoccus, Gemmiger and Holdemanella, and decreased Bacteroidales_unclassified. Overall, RAC supplementation to piglets modulated post-weaning gut microbiota, improved growth performance after weaning, reduced post-weaning diarrhea and reduced fecal myeloperoxidase levels. We therefore consider RAC to be a potential natural feed supplement to prevent enteric infections and improve growth performance in weaning piglets.
  • Satokari, Reetta (2019)
    The human gut microbiota is a complex ecosystem and has an essential role in maintaining intestinal and systemic health. Microbiota dysbiosis is associated with a number of intestinal and systemic conditions and its modulation for human health is of great interest. Gut microbiota is a source of novel health-promoting bacteria, often termed as next-generation probiotics in order to distinguish them from traditional probiotics. The previous lessons learned with traditional probiotics can help the development of next-generation probiotics that target specific health issues and needs.
  • Hiippala, Kaisa; Barreto, Gonçalo; Burrello, Claudia; Diaz-Basabe, Angelica; Suutarinen, Maiju; Kainulainen, Veera; Bowers, Jolene R.; Lemmer, Darrin; Engelthaler, David M.; Eklund, Kari K.; Facciotti, Federica; Satokari, Reetta (2020)
    Odoribacter splanchnicus, belonging to the order Bacteroidales, is a common, short-chain fatty acid producing member of the human intestinal microbiota. A decreased abundance of Odoribacter has been linked to different microbiota-associated diseases, such as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, cystic fibrosis and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The type strain of O. splanchnicus has been genome-sequenced, but otherwise very little is known about this anaerobic bacterium. The species surfaces in many microbiota studies and, consequently, comprehension on its interactions with the host is needed. In this study, we isolated a novel strain of O. splanchnicus from a healthy fecal donor, identified it by genome sequencing and addressed its adhesive, epithelium reinforcing and immunoregulatory properties. Our results show that O. splanchnicus strain 57 is non-adherent to enterocytes or mucus, does not reinforce nor compromise Caco-2 monolayer integrity and most likely harbors penta-acylated, less endotoxic lipid A as part of its lipopolysaccharide (LPS) structure based on the lack of gene lpxM and in vitro results on low-level NF-κB activity. The studies by transmission electron microscopy revealed that O. splanchnicus produces outer membrane vesicles (OMV). O. splanchnicus cells, culture supernatant i.e., spent medium or OMVs did not induce interleukin-8 (IL-8) response in HT-29 enterocyte cells suggesting a very low proinflammatory capacity. On the contrary, the treatment of HT-29 cells with O. splanchnicus cells, spent medium or OMVs prior to exposure to Escherichia coli LPS elicited a significant decrease in IL-8 production as compared to E. coli LPS treatment alone. Moreover, O. splanchnicus spent supernatant induced IL-10 production by immune cells, suggesting anti-inflammatory activity. Our in vitro findings indicate that O. splanchnicus and its effector molecules transported in OMVs could potentially exert anti-inflammatory action in the gut epithelium. Taken together, O. splanchnicus seems to be a commensal with a primarily beneficial interaction with the host.
  • Hiippala, Kaisa; Khan, Imran; Ronkainen, Aki; Fredrik, Boulund; Vähä-Mäkilä, Helena; Suutarinen, Maiju Elina; Seifert, Maike; Engstrand, Lars; Satokari, Reetta (2022)
    Fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) is an efficient treatment for recurrent Clostridioides difficile infection and currently investigated as a treatment for other intestinal and systemic diseases. Better understanding of the species potentially transferred in FMT is needed. We isolated from a healthy fecal donor a novel strain E10-96H of Pseudoruminococcus massiliensis, a recently described strictly anaerobic species currently represented only by the type strain. The whole genome sequence of E10-96H had over 98% similarity with the type strain. E10-96H carries 20 glycoside hydrolase encoding genes, degrades starch in vitro and thus may contribute to fiber degradation, cross-feeding of other species and butyrate production in the intestinal ecosystem. The strain carries pilus-like structures, harbors pilin genes in its genome and adheres to enterocytes in vitro but does not provoke a proinflammatory response. P. massiliensis seems to have commensal behavior with the host epithelium, and its role in intestinal ecology should be studied further.
  • Sammallahti, Heidelinde; Sarhadi, Virinder Kaur; Kokkola, Arto; Ghanbari, Reza; Rezasoltani, Sama; Asadzadeh Aghdaei, Hamid; Puolakkainen, Pauli; Knuutila, Sakari (2022)
    Pancreatic cancer (PC) is an aggressive malignancy with a dismal prognosis. To improve patient survival, the development of screening methods for early diagnosis is pivotal. Oncogenomic alterations present in tumor tissue are a suitable target for non-invasive screening efforts, as they can be detected in tumor-derived cells, cell-free nucleic acids, and extracellular vesicles, which are present in several body fluids. Since stool is an easily accessible source, which enables convenient and cost-effective sampling, it could be utilized for the screening of these traces. Herein, we explore the various oncogenomic changes that have been detected in PC tissue, such as chromosomal aberrations, mutations in driver genes, epigenetic alterations, and differentially expressed non-coding RNA. In addition, we briefly look into the role of altered gut microbiota in PC and their possible associations with oncogenomic changes. We also review the findings of genomic alterations in stool of PC patients, and the potentials and challenges of their future use for the development of stool screening tools, including the possible combination of genomic and microbiota markers.
  • Wiik-Miettinen, Fanny (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    Human gut microbiota is an important topic for many different disciplines. Various factors, e.g. antimicrobial drugs and diet, affect the development and balance of gut microbiota and its interactions with the host. Plant based carbohydrates that transit unabsorbed and undigested through the upper parts of gastrointestinal tract are an important source of energy for the colon bacteria. Some of colon bacteria produce short chained fatty acids (e.g. acetate, propionate, butyrate) from these carbohydrates. SCFAs provide a source of energy and regulate the cell growth and metabolism. The changes in the diversity and abundance of the SCFA producing bacteria have been linked to many gut related diseases. Studying gut microbiota with today’s analytical methods is still challenging. In this work the effects of dietary fibers on gut microbiota were monitored with a static, single vessel batch model. A batch model is typically developed for the quick high-throughput screening of samples. Fiber samples were processed in various ways to increase their solubility and thus fermentability. In this work butyrate producing bacteria, Akkermansia muciniphila and bifidobacteria were targeted. Enumeration was performed with selective growth media and quantitative PCR. Bacterial population was characterized by 16S rRNA based sequencing. To quantitate only viable bacterial cells from the sample matrix by qPCR, samples were treated with propidium monoazide (PMA), which after light activation inhibits the amplification of double-stranded DNA from dead and lysed cells. Since acidic SCFAs accumulate in the sample suspension, pH decreases clearly during the incubation in the static model. This leads to conditions which do not resemble the ones in the colon. Two different buffer solutions, pH adjustment and shorter incubation time were tested to overcome this challenge. The numbers of A. muciniphila and some of the butyrate producers decreased in acidic environment and the proportion of acid-tolerant bacteria was clearly increased and dominated the bacterial population. The optimization of PMA treatment for fecal suspension samples proved to be challenging due to the highly variable composition of sample matrixes. Dietary fibers were observed to cause different changes in bacterial population: the most soluble fibers caused greater decrease of pH and thus greater proportion of acid tolerant bacteria in the population.
  • Lawenius, Lina; Scheffler, Julia M.; Gustafsson, Karin L.; Henning, Petra; Nilsson, Karin H.; Collden, Hannah; Islander, Ulrika; Plovier, Hubert; Cani, Patrice D.; de Vos, Willem M.; Ohlsson, Claes; Sjogren, Klara (2020)
    Probiotic bacteria can protect from ovariectomy (ovx)-induced bone loss in mice. Akkermansia muciniphila is considered to have probiotic potential due to its beneficial effect on obesity and insulin resistance. The purpose of the present study was to determine if treatment with pasteurized Akkermansia muciniphila (pAkk) could prevent ovx-induced bone loss. Mice were treated with vehicle or pAkk for 4 wk, starting 3 days before ovx or sham surgery. Treatment with pAkk reduced fat mass accumulation confirming earlier findings. However, treatment with pAkk decreased trabecular and cortical bone mass in femur and vertebra of gonadal intact mice and did not protect from ovx-induced bone loss. Treatment with pAkk increased serum parathyroid hormone (PTH) levels and increased expression of the calcium transporter Trpv5 in kidney suggesting increased reabsorption of calcium in the kidneys. Serum amyloid A 3 (SAA3) can suppress bone formation and mediate the effects of PTH on bone resorption and bone loss in mice and treatment with pAkk increased serum levels of SAA3 and gene expression of Saa3 in colon. Moreover, regulatory T cells can be protective of bone and pAkk-treated mice had decreased number of regulatory T cells in mesenteric lymph nodes and bone marrow. In conclusion, treatment with pAkk protected from ovx-induced fat mass gain but not from bone loss and reduced bone mass in gonadal intact mice. Our findings with pAkk differ from some probiotics that have been shown to protect bone mass, demonstrating that not all prebiotic and probiotic factors have the same effect on bone.
  • Lensu, Sanna; Pariyani, Raghunath; Mäkinen, Elina; Yang, Baoru; Saleem, Wisam; Munukka, Eveliina; Lehti, Maarit; Driuchina, Anastasiia; Linden, Jere; Tiirola, Marja; Lahti, Leo; Pekkala, Satu (2020)
    Understanding the importance of the gut microbiota (GM) in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) has raised the hope for therapeutic microbes. We have shown that high hepatic fat content associated with low abundance of Faecalibacterium prausnitzii in humans and, further, the administration of F. prausnitzii prevented NAFLD in mice. Here, we aimed at targeting F. prausnitzii by prebiotic xylo-oligosaccharides (XOS) to treat NAFLD. First, the effect of XOS on F. prausnitzii growth was assessed in vitro. Then, XOS was supplemented or not with high (HFD, 60% of energy from fat) or low (LFD) fat diet for 12 weeks in Wistar rats (n = 10/group). XOS increased F. prausnitzii growth, having only a minor impact on the GM composition. When supplemented with HFD, XOS ameliorated hepatic steatosis. The underlying mechanisms involved enhanced hepatic beta-oxidation and mitochondrial respiration. Nuclear magnetic resonance (H-1-NMR) analysis of cecal metabolites showed that, compared to the HFD, the LFD group had a healthier cecal short-chain fatty acid profile and on the HFD, XOS reduced cecal isovalerate and tyrosine, metabolites previously linked to NAFLD. Cecal branched-chain fatty acids associated positively and butyrate negatively with hepatic triglycerides. In conclusion, XOS supplementation can ameliorate NAFLD by improving hepatic oxidative metabolism and affecting GM.
  • Viitaharju, Janika (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    OBJECTIVES. The association between prenatal maternal stress and adverse health and developmental offspring outcomes has been long known but explanations for this association remain insufficient. One of the most recent suggestions is gut microbiota. Only a few studies with many limitations have concentrated on the association between prenatal stress and offspring gut microbiota. The aim of this study is to conduct a large scale study with follow-up covering the whole infancy, and to test whether the association differs between girls and boys. METHODS. This study’s sample consists of 825 mothers and their infants from HELMi cohort. Prenatal maternal stress is measured with self-report questionnaire, and infant gut microbiota from fecal samples. 16S rRNA sequencing is used in analyzing the microbiota. RESULTS. High stress group had lower alpha-diversity than low stress group at 3 weeks. No differences were found in richness and beta-diversity. Several phylum, family, and genus level bacteria were associated with prenatal stress. Regarding sex differences, no differences were found in richness or in alpha- or beta-diversity. However, in phylum, family, and genus level bacterial relative abundances, more associations were found in boys than in girls. CONCLUSION. Overall the findings in this study were contradicting compared to previous findings. There was indication that there is no clear association between prenatal stress and infant overall microbiota composition. Also, the association regarding bacterial abundances could decline over age, and the association might be stronger in boys. However, not very consistent conclusions can be made based on research conducted so far.
  • EFSA Panel on Nutrition, Novel Foods and Food Allergens (NDA); Turck, Dominique; Heinonen, Marina (2021)
    Following a request from the European Commission, the EFSA Panel on Nutrition, Novel Foods and Food Allergens (NDA) was asked to deliver an opinion on pasteurised Akkermansia muciniphila as a novel food (NF) pursuant to Regulation (EU) 2015/2283. A. muciniphila is a well-characterised non-toxin producing, avirulent microorganism that has been reported as part of normal gut microbiota. The NF, pasteurised A. muciniphila, is proposed by the applicant to be used as a food supplement at max. 5 x 10(10) cells/day by adults excluding pregnant and lactating women, and in foods for special medical purposes. The Panel considers that the production process of the NF is sufficiently described and that the information provided on the composition of the NF is sufficient for its characterisation. Taking into account the composition of the NF and the proposed conditions of use, the consumption of the NF is not nutritionally disadvantageous. Based on literature data, and by applying an uncertainty factor of 200 to the no observed adverse effect level (NOAEL) of a 90-day repeated dose oral toxicity study in rats, the Panel concludes that the consumption of 3.4 x 10(10) cells/day is safe for the target population under the provision that the number of viable cells in the NF is < 10 colony forming units (CFU)/g (i.e. limit of detection). (C) 2021 European Food Safety Authority. EFSA Journal published by John Wiley and Sons Ltd on behalf of European Food Safety Authority.
  • Druart, Celine; Plovier, Hubert; Van Hul, Matthias; Brient, Alizee; Phipps, Kirt R.; Vos, Willem M.; Cani, Patrice D. (2021)
    Gut microorganisms are vital for many aspects of human health, and the commensal bacteriumAkkermansia muciniphilahas repeatedly been identified as a key component of intestinal microbiota. Reductions inA. muciniphilaabundance are associated with increased prevalence of metabolic disorders such as obesity and type 2 diabetes. It was recently discovered that administration ofA. muciniphilahas beneficial effects and that these are not diminished, but rather enhanced after pasteurization. PasteurizedA. muciniphilais proposed for use as a food ingredient, and was therefore subjected to a nonclinical safety assessment, comprising genotoxicity assays (bacterial reverse mutation and in vitro mammalian cell micronucleus tests) and a 90-day toxicity study. For the latter, Han Wistar rats were administered with the vehicle or pasteurizedA. muciniphilaat doses of 75, 375 or 1500 mg/kg body weight/day (equivalent to 4.8 x 10(9), 2.4 x 10(10), or 9.6 x 10(10)A. muciniphilacells/kg body weight/day) by oral gavage for 90 consecutive days. The study assessed potential effects on clinical observations (including detailed arena observations and a modified Irwin test), body weight, food and water consumption, clinical pathology, organ weights, and macroscopic and microscopic pathology. The results of both in vitro genotoxicity studies were negative. No test item-related adverse effects were observed in the 90-day study; therefore, 1500 mg/kg body weight/day (the highest dose tested, equivalent to 9.6 x 10(10)A. muciniphilacells/kg body weight/day) was established as the no-observed-adverse-effect-level. These results support that pasteurizedA. muciniphilais safe for use as a food ingredient.
  • Oliviero, Claudio; Peltoniemi, Olli (IntechOpen, 2021)
    Over the past three decades, efficient breeding and management have almost doubled the litter size of sows. Simultaneously, duration of farrowing has increased markedly. The expulsion phase of parturition in the hyper prolific sow is now 3 to 5 times longer than it was in the early 1990s. There has also been a constant downward trend in piglet birth weight, along with a similar trend in colostrum intake, which is an important risk factor for piglet mortality. Together with these trends, an increase in farrowing complications, such as postpartum dysgalactia and retention of placenta, has been reported. This paper investigates group housing of sows during gestation, farrowing and lactation, focusing on management strategies of the sow. In short, the sow needs to be given space and enrichment materials for adequate expression of nest-building behavior. Maternal characteristics may be utilized to improve the success rate of reproductive management during farrowing and early lactation. The lower piglet birth weight and compromised immunity of newborn piglets warrant investigation in the search for novel management tools. Robust breeds with somewhat lower litter size, but improved resilience and increased birth weight may be needed in the near future.